Indian mobile phone charges are among the cheapest in the world. However, Indians traveling abroad and using international roaming as indiscriminately as they use their phones in India, will receive towering bills, tens of pages long and sometimes amounting to lakhs of rupees.
That is why many people are using services like Matrix Cellular, which resells mobile services for several countries in India. “We offer far better rates and also offer a postpaid service, which make us attractive to companies and students alike,” says Anant Sarkaria, Deputy General Manager, International Sales, Matrix Cellular.
Here’s why: on international roaming, the lowest rates charged by an Indian telco are between 3.5 and six times those charged by Matrix (see How They Stack Up).
Assuming a moderate usage pattern of five minutes of incoming, five minutes of local outgoing and a short five-minute chat with folks back home, on international roaming (in the US), your bill will come to a minimum of $34.40 (Rs 1,410) every day, versus $8.95 (Rs 366) on Matrix, which also includes some free minutes.
On text messaging and data charges, international roaming can be worse. Text messages are often charged at 50 cents a message on roaming and data charges are known to hit $100 (Rs 4,100) per megabyte. “We offer a service that can help a company reduce its international telecom expenditure by up to 60 per cent,” he adds.
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