No roaming charges from next year, says government

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No roaming charges from next year, says government
New Delhi:  Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal today said that mobile phone subscribers will not have to pay roaming charges from next year.

"From next year. Our secretary has told you that it will be free from next year," Mr Sibal said in response to a query on the timing of removing roaming charges as proposed in the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012.

The Minister was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the curtain raiser event of India Internet Governance Conference.

NTP 2012, approved in May, aims to abolish roaming charges and allow mobile phone subscribers to use the same number across the country without having to pay extra charges for services once they are outside their telecom circle.

Meanwhile, Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said the Department of Telecom (DoT) is working on Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for spectrum auction after which it will work on unified licence (UL) guidelines - also a part of the NTP 2012.

"We are first going to attend to all issues linked to auction. The moment NIA is issued this week, we will focus on UL. After details of full UL is worked out, the modalities for free roaming will follow," he said.

As per the schedule, NIA will be issued on September 28.

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