Reliance Jio effect: Airtel to end domestic roaming charges from April 1, international roaming gets cheaper

Devina Corel
February 27, 2017
114 Views

Regardless of how much ever telcos deny, Reliance Jio definitely has all of them on their toes. While Uninor and Vodafone India were forced to consider mergers, other leading operators like Airtel India, have been under the pressure to keep up with the offers and tariffs offered by Reliance Jio. In what is being advertised as the declaration of ‘war on roaming’, Airtel India has announced free incoming calls and SMS and no premiums on outgoing calls while roaming across India. Essentially, you will be a local customer across the country!

Starting April 1, 2017, Airtel customers travelling within India will be able to enjoy free calling and SMS on roaming. Also, there will be no additional data charges on national roaming, and the home data packs will apply even while they roam across India.

In addition to that, from April 1, customers on international roaming who do not subscribe to international roaming packs, will now see automatic adjustments in their bill, which will be equal to the daily pack for that particular country. This means that the moment a customer’s billing reaches the price of a one day pack for the country, they will be automatically moved to that pack. This will protect users from waking up to a fat mobile bill when they get back home.

Even for the charges for that are applied once a pack benefit is exhausted, Airtel has reduced call charges by up to 90 percent to cost as low as Rs 3 per minute, and data charges by up to 99 percent to cost Rs 3 per MB across many roaming destinations. Back in September, Airtel had launched a bunch of international roaming packs for Indian users, and this new offer on international roaming basically develops on those packs.

Essentially, how the international roaming pack bit works is, when a customer is traveling to say the US, without a dedicated international data pack, and their bill hits the threshold of Rs 649, which is the price of the one day pack for USA, they will automatically be moved to the one day pack. In case of the international pack available for the US, it offers free incoming calls and SMS, 100 India and local country outgoing minutes, 300MB data, among some other benefits.

“At Airtel, we are changing the international roaming paradigm, which will allow our customers to take their number to every corner of the world. As an industry, operators across the world must collaborate to remove the cost barrier to roaming and offer customers the convenience of staying connected without the fear of exorbitant bill charges,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said.

The move to end the national roaming charges comes soon after Mukesh Ambani officially announced its tariff plans that will rollout from April 1, which Ambani assured will offer free domestic voice calls across India to Jio and other networks. The charges, he said, will be sans roaming, and there will be no blackout days.

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