The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued Telecom Consumers Protection (11th Amendment) Regulations (TCPR) 2020, which outline the amended rules for international mobile roaming (IMR).
With this, the regulator has mandated telecom operators to ensure IMR services are deactivated by default and are activated only when asked by the consumers. Further, TRAI added that once activated, the services can be discontinued on consumers’ request, which will be effective after 30 days from the date of public notification of the same.
Further, telcos will have to notify consumers about the activation and the applicable tariff of the services. The regulator has also asked the operators to inform consumers about the applicable rates on voice, SMS and data services, and details of carriers in the visiting countries that need to be selected for activation of services. Users will also be alerted when the data usage exceeds 50 per cent, 80 per cent 90 percent and 100 per cent of the data entitlement. Furthermore, TRAI has asked operators to keep user’s SIM inactive by default while travelling in a foreign land unless requested by the customer for activation to prevent bill shocks. Users will also be informed about the necessary precautions to avoid bill shocks while on international roaming.
Thus, with this move TRAI refrained from intervening in IMR tariff structure. According to TRAI, considering the fact that the tariffs for IMR Service have been evolving in response to market dynamics and increasing prevalence of IMR Packs, as of now there is no need for any direct intervention in the form of price regulation of IMR service.
The latest amendments will be inserted as the sixth chapter as measures to protect consumers from bill shocks while using international mobile roaming service, in the regulations.