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Help Calls could cost more if roaming rates scrapped
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Mobile subscribers may have to pay higher rates if the government enforces the recommendation of a DoT panel to look at the country as a single telecom circle and scrap roaming charges.

Long-distance calls cannot be charged at the same rate as local calls, Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India said.

Equating long-distance calls — referring to roaming rates — with local calls would force mobile companies to raise local call charges to recoup losses from abolition of roaming charges. “We don’t think that (treating India as one telecom circle) is appropriate,” he said, explaining roaming facilities are subscribed by only 20% mobile users.

“It means, should we raise prices for 80% of mobile phone users because 20% feel the need for lower roaming rates,” he said. Roaming calls and local calls are in the ratio of 1:4, a COAI analysis showed.
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