Airtel slashes international roaming rates, no more national roaming charges starting April 1

Call it the Jio effect if you want – but the news is that India’s largest cellular network operator Airtel has decided to do away with all kinds of charges associated with National roaming starting April 1, 2017. The company issued a press release aptly titled “The Death of National Roaming” earlier today in which they detailed their plans to make National Roaming entirely free while also slashing and simplifying the process for International roaming.

The announcement was made by the Chairman of the company, Sunil Bharti Mittal in a recorded video.

To start with, the company confirms that customers on its network would not be charged for incoming calls while roaming. There will be no premium on outgoing calls either. The advantages trickle down to data usage as well with Airtel confirming that there would be no data roaming charges either from April 1.

Death of National Roaming–Free Incoming calls/SMS,No Premium on outgoing calls while roaming in #India for our customers #NORoamingCharges

— Bharti Airtel (@airtelnews) February 27, 2017

For international roaming users, Airtel has assured that there would be no “Bill Shocks” since the daily billing will be automatically adjusted to the price of basic one day pack even for customers who don’t buy a roaming pack before leaving the country.

Our customers can now reach every corner of the world without having to worry while travelling abroad. #NORoamingCharges @Airtel_Presence

— Bharti Airtel (@airtelnews) February 27, 2017

This is what the press release read;

“Starting April 1, 2017, Airtel customers roaming within India will enjoy free incoming calls/SMS and there will be no premium on outgoing calls allowing them to speak freely wherever they are within the country. Also, there will be no additional data charges on national roaming. Home data packs for customers will apply even while they roam across India.”

Airtel has launched new International Roaming packs for all major countries across the world that come in several validity options that range from a one-day pack to a 30-day pack.

The press release further read;

“Starting April 1, 2017, even customers on international roaming Without a Pack will be fully protected from bill shocks through an automatic adjustment that is equal to the daily pack for that particular country. This means that the moment a customer’s billing reaches the price of a one day pack for the country, he/she will be automatically moved to that pack. This will allow our customers to use their devices abroad without any fear. Even post the exhaustion of pack benefits, customers will continue to enjoy extremely attractive rates for calling and data usage. Call Charges have been reduced by up to 90% to as low as Rs. 3/min and data charges by upto 99% to Rs 3/ MB across popular roaming destinations.”

Airtel has also cited an example of how this would work;

“Here is an example of how Airtel’s new international roaming pricing works. When a customer traveling to the USA without a pack hits the threshold of Rs 649 (the price of the one day pack for the USA), he/she will automatically move to the one day pack with free incoming calls/SMS, 100 India and local country outgoing minutes, 300 MB data and a host of other benefits. Similarly, a customer traveling to Singapore will move to the one day pack the moment his/her usage hits the Rs 499 mark.”

There is no denying the fact that this latest move from Airtel is clearly in response to Jio’s aggressive pricing strategy. It remains to be seen how consumers react to this latest move from Airtel.

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