State-run MTNL, which offers services in Delhi and Mumbai, will offer free roaming from January 1, allowing its customers to receive calls at no extra cost while travelling across the country.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday announced the free roaming facility by MTNL from next year during an event to celebrate good governance day in New Delhi.

BSNL already has free roaming scheme in place. At present, MTNL customers have to pay roaming charges for incoming calls when they go outside of Delhi and Mumbai.

MTNL Chairman and Managing Director N K Yadav said the company is even trying to implement the scheme before January 1 and is checking the technical details.

“We will try to start the scheme from today night or tomorrow,” Yadav said. The government under National Telecom Policy 2012 has set a goal to achieve free roaming gradually. MTNL had in November announced plans had been finalised for rollout of its free roaming facility.

BSNL had launched its free national roaming scheme in June this year, just ahead of the rollout of oft-delayed nationwide mobile number portability (MNP). Full MNP enables subscribers to transfer their mobile numbers to any new city or locality across the country and use it as local number. Prior to this, the facility was available only within a telecom circle or service area.

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