BSNL to offer free national roaming from June 15

Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Photo: Shailendra Pandey

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will offer free national roaming from June 15, union minister for communications Ravi Shankar Prasad said on 2 June.

Full mobile portability will be given from July, while spectrum sharing and trading policy will go to Union Cabinet this month, he told reporters.

Ever since it came to power, the NDA government has promised free roaming. The same was also promised by the previous government.

The RBI is expected to give the payment bank license to Postal Department by July or August this year.

BSNL had introduced free night call facilities, where calls were allowed free of cost to any operator all over the country between 9 pm to 7 am.

In May, BSNL had slashed roaming tariff by 40% for its prepaid and postpaid mobile connection following a telecom tariff order issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

In 2004, BSNL showed a profit of Rs 10,000 crore, Prasad said,  “In 2014, when I took charge, BSNL showed a loss of Rs 7,500 crore. The MTNL was in profit till 2008, when I took charge, it showed losses.” But now the situation is better.

Earlier this year, Vodafone and Reliance announced plans to reduce the roaming charges to a minimum. BSNL was expected to introduce plans for free roaming in January.

Good governance, he said, became a casualty “as far as these PSUs are concerned,” and those sitting in Sanchar Bhavan will have to “apportion blame”.




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