Almost all telecom operators in India provide toll free numbers in India. Also, all private operators except BSNL( Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) and MTNL ( Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) which are government enterprises, can also provide international toll free number.
All operators terminate/forward their toll free number to their own telephone numbers only. Which means, if one applies for a toll free number from BSNL, she will have to get at least one BSNL telephone number too. While I last spoke to BSNL, they do not forward heir toll free number to any GSM phone numbers. Other private telecom service providers forward their TollFree numbers to any number, be it GSM/CDMA or landline numbers.
Tentative Cost of OwnerShip for Toll Free Number
Different Operators have different tariff for toll Free numbers. Some operators charge extra for any vanity toll free number. A vanity Toll Free Number is a toll free number which has some common number at the end ( for example, toll free number ending with 000, 111) or some easy to remember number like 7878, 7788 etc.
Normally, there are three costs associated with Toll Free Number in India.
1. Monthly rental for the toll free number
This could be anything from Rs. 5000 and more depending on the tariff scheme. Normaly, if the monthly rental is high, telecom operators provide free usage of it.
2. Call Forwarding charges
This is the actual usage charge. Normally it varies and cheaper if the monthly rental is higher. It can start from Rs. 4 rupees per 3 minutes, or Rs. 2 per minute. While government telecom service providers have fixed rates, normally, private telecom operators can be bargained with.
3. Landing number
Toll Free Number has to be forwarded to an actual real world number, be it a mobile number, landline number or a PRI pilot number. Rental of this can be free if its a prepaid GSM number and it could be anything from Rs. 150/- per month or more if its a landline number or post paid GSM number. For PRI number, normally it would be at least Rs. 3000/-per month. PRI connection can have 30 simultaneous and recommended for large organisation or call centre.
There are no other costs except taxes or any CTI or IVR Costs. Normally, if anyone uses toll free number where owner of the toll free number pays for any incoming calls, it is highly recommended hat they use some kind of IVR as it would provide them proper daily or monthly reports of incoming calls.
I keep getting many enquiries about getting a toll free in India. So I thought of posting this article. The prices and tariff are just for information and for exact pricing/tariff, one must speak to authorised representative of telecom service provider.