We got into roaming because TRAI asked us to. This was just after the SAARC Summit in Colombo in 2008. I thought there’d be more talk about roaming since another SAARC talkfest just ended. But looks like TRAI has decided the neighborhood is not worth the trouble. They want cheap roaming in Europe.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has opened channels with its counterparts in other countries, including the UK, to address the issue of high tariffs for international roaming services. TRAI has suggested that regulators should ask local operators in their countries to enable bilateral roaming agreements aimed at bringing down the tariffs.
At present, international roaming services come at a premium even though the cost of offering this has come down drastically due to better routing technology. For example, an Indian consumer travelling in Europe has to pay over Rs 200 a minute for both incoming and outgoing calls. Similarly, foreign travellers coming into India have to pay a hefty amount for making and receiving calls. According to TRAI officials, it has been suggested that regulators should find a way to get operators in their respective country to offer cheaper roaming tariffs. TRAI is internally preparing a paper on this issue.