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No roaming charges from next year: Sibal

Posted on Sep 24, 04:51PM | IANS

Indian mobile subscribers will not have to pay roaming charges while travelling within the country from the next year, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal said Monday.

"It (roaming) will be free from next year," Sibal said on the implementation of free roaming proposed under the National Telecom Policy 2012 (NTP 2012) at a curtain-raiser event, 'India Internet Governance Conference', here.

Currently, a user pays an extra amount called roaming charge while making or receiving calls in a circle outside his home network.

The new policy, approved in May, paves the way for free roaming and nationwide mobile number portability.

The minister also said the new policy would replace the older regulation, which has been in effect for more than 12 years now and provides a predictable and stable policy regime for a period of nearly 10 years.

The new policy will delink licences from the spectrum which have been bundled with them so far.

The NTP 2012 will also allow operators to provide services based on any technology by using airwaves and will not restrict them to use it for particular service using any specific frequency band.