BSNL, MTNL to offer free roaming from 26 January: report

Coming with a bang this Republic Day, state-owned telecom firms MTNL and BSNL are likely to launch new roaming plans from January 26 that will offer their subscribers free calls, sources said.

Beginning this Republic Day state-owned telecom firms BSNL and MTNL are likely to launch free roaming as also free calls for subscribers.

MTNL customers do not have to pay roaming charges while moving from Mumbai to Delhi where the telco operates while BSNL customers do not enjoy free roaming across the country.

"MTNL has plans to make roaming free for its customers on its network in Delhi and Mumbai without any additional charge," said an official source.

He added, however, that BSNL will also have a roaming plan for free calls, but its customers may have to shell out Re1 a day to avail of the facility.

The schemes are likely to be in place from January 26.

Several private telecom operators already offer plans under which subscribers get all incoming calls free of roaming charges, on payment of a monthly or daily fee starting Rs5.

While details of the plan are not known, sources said, telecom minister Kapil Sibal is likely to announce this scheme within a couple of days.

Sibal is reported to have asked the telecom PSUs to come out with free roaming plans as far back as in November.

Though MTNL has removed the roaming charges, BSNL continues to levy the charge, saying it cannot bear the cost.

Once roaming charges are abolished, customers will enjoy local tariff wherever they travel.