Aircel on Monday said that it has waived roaming charges across the country. The mobile company announced a tariff plan that offers one rate for voice, SMS and data across its network. The product is an industry first, and comes at a time when other telecom players have opposed a Government policy aimed at waiving roaming charges.
Under the ‘One nation, one rate’ plan, Aircel customers will be able to make voice calls at 1 paisa per second even while roaming. Incoming calls while on roaming on the Aircel network will be free. Local and national SMS will be charged at Re 1.
Subscribers will also be able to carry the home circle rate while on roaming for both 2G and 3G-based data services. To make use of this plan, subscribers will have to pay a monthly fee that ranges between Rs 21 and Rs 59 depending on the circle. The tariff will be applicable as long as the subscriber remains within the Aircel network while roaming.
Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel, said the company expects to grow volumes which would compensate for any loss in revenue. “This is also our acquisition strategy to get more high-value subscribers,” he said.
However, other telecom companies said that waiving roaming charges will wipe away 10 per cent of their revenues and, hence, unviable.
Analysts said that the Aircel move could turn out to be positive.
According to Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, “If other operators see users aggressively opting for such plans then large operators might also move to similar but slightly modified plans. One thing has to be kept in mind, operators have gathered significant business intelligence and can offer plans cluster-wise which induces the consumer to use their services and, at the same time, increasing the revenue for the operators.”