The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India is planning for a change that will bring down roaming tariffs like anything. The DoT is considering a proposal to reduce the number of telecom circles in India from 22 to a single licence with all India coverage of a maximum of four circles.
Currently the DoT issues licence for each of the 22 circles separately. Operators are then required to install a mobile switch in each circle. This results in the operator charging customers with interconnection fees when calls are made from one circle to another. So if all the circles are merged, consumers need not pay any roaming charges.
According to a top DoT official – Keeping in view the development of technologies for catering to more traffic and more number of subscribers, we are looking at whether operators can be given the option to merge service areas. There could be either one service area covering the entire country or there could be four or five areas each, covering a specific region.