Challenge to Jio? Airtel Drops Roaming Charges

Bharti Airtel
Home data packs for subscribers will apply even while they roam across in India.

The operators of Airtel, Bharti Airtel on Monday announced that the customers of its network can enjoy free incoming calls and SMS while on national roaming and there will be no premium rates on outgoing calls, starting from April 1, 2017.

Airtel also said that there will be no additional data charges for national roaming.

Home data packs for subscribers will apply even while they roam across in India.

Bharti Airtel’s move to lift roaming charges comes in the wake of vigorous competition in the telecom sector after the entry of Reliance Industries Reliance Jio.

Though Reliance Jio will charge it’s customers from after April 1st, the operator has said that all voice calls should be free on its network and there should be no national roaming charges.

Early on last year, another operator Vodafone had also announced free incoming calls on national roaming.

“This marks the death of national roaming and the whole country will now be like a local network for our customers, who will not have to think twice before making or receiving calls or using data while traveling outside their home base.”

 -Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel

On International Roaming: 

Bharti Airtel also announced a new tariff plan that will help customers cut their bill while on international roaming.

From April 1st, 2017, Airtel customers on international roaming “without an international roaming pack will be fully protected from bill shocks through an unconditional adjustment that is equal to the daily pack for that particular country,” one of the largest telecom operators in the country said.

“This means that at the moment a customer’s billing reaches the amount of a one day pack for the specified country, the customer will be automatically moved to that pack.”

Even post the exhaustion of pack benefits, subscribers will continue to enjoy extremely attractive rates for calling and data usage.

Call Charges have been reduced by up to 90 percent to as low as Rs. 3/minute and data charges by up to 99 percent to Rs 3/MB across popular roaming destinations,” Bharti Airtel said.

Bharti Airtel in its statement also said that it already has launched “affordable” international roaming packs for all major countries across the world.

“Free incoming calls/SMS, calling minutes and texts messages both to India and the local country as well as generous dollops of data to stay online. These packs come with a validity options of One day, Ten days, and Thirty days.

Airtel’s new international roaming pricing: Here is an example 

When one customer travelling to the United States without a pack hits the threshold of Rs. 649 (the price of the one day pack for the US), he/she will automatically move to the one day pack with free incoming calls/SMS, 100 India and local country outgoing minutes, 300 MB data and a host of other benefits.

Likewise, a customer travelling to Singapore will move to the one day pack the moment his/her usage hits the Rs. 499 mark.

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