TRAI floats pre-consultation paper on national roaming

TRAI floats pre-consultation paper on national roaming New Delhi: Telecom regulator TRAI Thursday floated a pre-consultation paper seeking inputs from stakeholders on tariff for national roaming services, moving a step closer to providing free roaming by 2013.

"Through the pre-consultation paper released Thursday, the Authority has sought inputs from stakeholders on the broad framework of tariff for National Roaming Services so as to enable Authority to prepare a detailed comprehensive consultation paper," TRAI said in a statement.

The pre-consultation seeks views of stakeholder on various aspects of National Roaming Services like the cost components of call rates to be considered, "the manner of recovery of cost in case of incoming calls are to be made free", tariff for video calls and SMS while roaming, need for permitting special tariff vouchers for roaming customers etc.

At present, telecom operators have to pay various charges like termination charge, interconnect charges etc. For completing call of their customers on to other networks which get added to the final cost of a call for customers.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said the tariff for Nation Roaming Services was last specified by it on January 24, 2007 and the regime that governed the cost of national roaming charges has changed since then.

"The Access deficit charges regime has been phased out in 2008 and termination charges lowered from Rs 0.30 to Rs 0.20 per minute in year 2009," TRAI said.

TRAI has set deadline of January 17, 2013 for comments on the pre-consultation paper after which it will issue a consultation paper.

Based on inputs received from stakeholder on its consultation paper, the regulator will make recommendations to Department of Telecommunications on the framework of national roaming for further action.

PTI