The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has completed the consultation process on nation-wide free roaming and it will give its recommendations in the next 10-15 days, TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar said today.
"On national roaming, the consultation has been completed, the authority is in the process of formulating its final rules before it takes a decision in 10-15 days," Khullar told PTI in New Delhi.
Industry sources said national roaming is proposed to be routed through special tariff vouchers - which is not exactly free, but could bring roaming prices down as a first step.
The National Telecom Policy, 2012 aims to abolish roaming charges and allow mobile phone subscribers to use the same number across the country without having to pay extra charges for services outside their telecom circle.
Telecom minister Kapil Sibal had said that the government would try to start national free roaming for customers before October this year.
According to an Ernst & Young estimate, removal of roaming charges would cause an annualised loss in the range of Rs12,500 crore to Rs15,000 crore to telecom companies.
In December last year, TRAI had floated a pre-consultation paper seeking inputs from stakeholders on tariff for national roaming services.
At present, telecom operators have to pay various charges like termination charge, interconnect charges, for completing call of their customers on to other networks which get added to the final cost of the call for the customer when they are out of their circles.