Airtel confirms no more roaming charges; shares drop nearly 3%
Speculations over Bharti Airtel putting an end to roaming charges in the country was laid to rest on Monday as the company announced free incoming calls, SMSes and no premium on outgoing calls while roaming across India.
“With this, Airtel mobile customers will be able to carry their numbers across India and the world and stay connected all the time without having to worry about high call/data charges. Bill shocks will now be a thing of the past,” Airtel said.
There will also be no additional data charges while on roaming, the company said.
Post the announcement Airtel shares dropped 2.75% at 1511 hours on BSE Sensex to trade at Rs 356 per share.
Commenting on the announcement, Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO Airtel said, “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. Airtel has again set the benchmark in delivering best in class value backed by a great network experience.”
The scheme which begins a month from tomorrow will be automatically adjusted to the price of basic one day pack even for customers who don’t buy a roaming pack.
“Starting April 1, 2017, even customers on international roaming Without a Pack will be fully protected from bill shocks through an automatic adjustment that is equal to the daily pack for that particular country. This means that the moment a customer’s billing reaches the price of a one day pack for the country, he/she will be automatically moved to that pack. Even post the exhaustion of pack benefits, customers will continue to enjoy extremely attractive rates for calling and data usage. Call Charges have been reduced by upto 90% to as low as Rs. 3/min and data charges by upto 99% to Rs 3/ MB across popular roaming destinations,” the company said.
Airtel announced its International Roaming packs for all major countries across the world which has validity options of 1-30 days including free incoming calls/SMS, calling minutes and texts both to India and the local country.
“Here is an example of how Airtel’s new international roaming pricing works. When a customer traveling to the USA without a pack hits the threshold of Rs 649 (the price of the one day pack for USA), 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. Similarly, a customer traveling to Singapore will move to the one day pack the moment his/her usage hits the Rs 499 mark,” the company added.
Mittal said, "At Airtel, we are changing the international roaming paradigm, which will allow our customers to take their number to every corner of the world. As an industry, operators across the world must collaborate to remove the cost barrier to roaming and offer customers the convenience of staying connected without the fear of exorbitant bill charges."