Airtel’s Sunil Mittal calls for an end to international roaming charges

Airtel boss Sunil Mittal pitch came on a day when the telecom firm scrapped all roaming charges, including incoming calls and data, for its Indian consumers


Sunil Bharti Mittal during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. Photo: AFP
Sunil Bharti Mittal during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of India’s largest telecom company Bharti Airtel Ltd and chairman of GSMA, has called for an end to international roaming charges.

Mittal’s pitch came on a day when Airtel scrapped roaming charges for its Indian consumers, including those on incoming calls, text messages sent and data services. No premium will be charged on outgoing calls either from 1 April.

“As the chairman of GSMA, one of the major tasks to mind is fix the problem of international roaming. The bill shocks are creating a lot of dishonest in the minds of customers,” Mittal said in a video message from Barcelona on Monday.

“It is time that I call upon the entire fraternity of the telecom sector to come together to kill the international roaming tariffs that are presently prevalent. It is time that we put minds of customers at ease,” he said.

Mittal said that the telecom industry has created a global network where anybody from any country travelling can reach his near and dear ones.

“We are truly making the world connected. There is no reason for us not to put our minds together to create a situation where customers can safely use their mobile phones both for calling as well as data anywhere in the world,” he said, adding that he has taken an initiative at his company to kill the domestic roaming completely.

“We have also taken upon ourselves for all Indians who will be travelling abroad to be very comforted in their minds that bill shocks and the bills that are running into lakhs of rupees will a thing of the past. I personally feel that with this announcement today, we will be able to lay the foundation of a truly global mobile network for the first time. I am sure the customers will be able to switch on their phones when they land in any country, anywhere in the world,” he said.

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