labels: telecom, mtnl
BSNL, MTNL slash roaming charges; Reliance announces free roaming news
01 June 2007

Mumbai: State-run telecom operators MTNL and BSNL have slashed national roaming charges to Re1 for incoming calls and Re0.40 for outgoing calls within any visiting network as part of a new post-paid plan to be launched on June 3.

The monthly rental for the plan has been fixed at Rs550. The subscribers will also get 300 minutes of free talktime for receiving calls.

Beyond the free talk time callers would have to shell out Re1 for incoming calls and Re0.40 for outgoing calls within any visiting network, BSNL CMD AK Sinha and his MTNL counterpart RSP Sinha said.

Outgoing calls to networks outside the visiting state will be charged at Re1.

BSNL also introduced a calling card - Callnow - which will enable users to make ISD calls to the US and Canada at Rs1.75 per minute and to the Gulf countries at Rs6.75 per minute. The card is available for Rs2,000 and comes with free talktime of the same amount.

Both the operators are expecting 20-25 per cent jump in their traffic with this scheme.

Within a week of announcing a 70-per cent cut in roaming tariff, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications Ltd said it was offering free roaming for its post-paid customers under two plans with immediate effect.

Communications minister A Raja, who was present on the occasion, said more private operators are expected to follow suit by reducing roaming charges.

Mobile phone customers in India have another reason to cheer as three major service providers Friday said they were cutting such tariff significantly for their post-paid subscribers.

The launch date of BSNL and MTNL for their new tariff plans has been chosen to coincide with the birthday of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who is also Communications Minister A. Raja''s party president.

Free roaming was among the major bonanzas promised by Raja''s predecessor in the communications ministry Dayanidhi Maran who had to quit Prime Minister Manmohan Singh''s cabinet, following differences with the DMK chief.
Reliance''s ''India Roam Free Plan 390'' offers 200 free minutes of incoming calls while roaming with outgoing calls inviting a tariff of 40 paise and local calls a little higher at Rs.1. The monthly charges are Rs.390.

The company''s ''India Roam Free Plan 990'' offers a subscriber 1,300 minutes of free roaming talk-time, distributed over 900 minutes of incoming calls while roaming and 400 minutes of free local calling. The monthly charges are Rs.990.

A tariff of 50 paise per local calls and Rs.1 for outstation calls will also be applicable, the company announced. ''Pre-paid roaming-friendly options are also available on recharge vouchers of Rs.770 and Rs.520,'' the company added.

MTNL and BSNL said their plans would benefit frequent travellers, particularly those who roam out of Delhi or Mumbai to BSNL areas. Migration from other plans to the latest plan would be permitted on request from June 3, they added.

''The scheme will also be open to all BSNL''s Cellone customers who can avail it without additional charges,'' the company''s chairman and managing director A.K. Sinha said.

''Our specially designed roaming freedom plan will provide freedom from roaming charges for Dolphin GSM post-paid customers all over India on the BSNL network,'' Sinha added.

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BSNL, MTNL slash roaming charges; Reliance announces free roaming