Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Draft National Telecom Policy 2011 proposes free roaming pan-India number portability

Roaming charges will soon become a thing of past! Telecom Ministry's draft National Telecom Policy 2011 has proposed to make roaming free and number portability unrestricted across the country. Besides, it proposes to speed up the broadband speed and allow operators to share and trade spectrum. With the objective of 'One Nation-One License', the ministry aims to create a conducive atmosphere for additional investments in the sector.

"Moving forward, we aim to create One Nation - One Licence across services and service areas. We aim to achieve One Nation - Full Mobile Number Portability and work towards One Nation - Free Roaming," says minister Kapil Sibal while releasing the document.

The roaming rates have come down significantly over the years. Recently, Tata Docomo announced free roaming for its subscribers. However, other operators are still charging for incoming calls during roaming. The outgoing calls during roaming are charged even higher.

The move is certainly going to benefit people who have transferable jobs such as the government employees, military personnel and others. However, the telecom operators are unlikely to back the 'free roaming' decision in the wake of losses in revenue and may hike STD charges to compensate for the possible losses.
Main highlights of the draft National Telecom Policy 2011:
  • Free roaming and pan-India number portability
  • “Right to Broadband” plan that proposes increasing the broadband downloading speed up to 2Mbps by 2020.
  • Increasing tele-density up to 60 percent by 2017 and 100 per cent 2020
  • Availability of 300MHz spectrum by 2017 and another 200 MHz of spectrum by 2020
  • Delinking spectrum license; provision of radiowaves at market price
Check out the details of the new telecom policy here.


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