The decision of free roaming is expected to come into force by March-April, 2013. Both Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) are discussing the issue with the government. According to sources, DoT has already set up a committee under a technical adviser and is expected to submit the report by Feb 2013.
Attending a press conference on Wednesday, the telecom minister was quoted as saying, "Roaming will be free in 2013. We have to get Cabinet approval and then it comes back to us. And then it will be floated."
However, experts believe that governments' move to implement free roaming all over the country has left the Telecos with little option prompting a tariff hike. The industry estimates show there will be eight to ten per cent reduction in the revenue margins if free roaming materializes, although it impacts only five to eight percent of the subscribers. [Read: Subscribers Have to Pay More for Free Roaming]