Airtel Nigeria has launched a new roaming service that will enable its subscribers to receive free incoming calls when roaming in five countries across five continents. With the service SmartROAM, Airtel customers travelling to the U.K., U.S., UAE, South Africa and Saudi Arabia will be able to receive calls free of charge when they roam on preferred partner networks in these countries. The service is currently available when roaming on the networks of Zain in Saudi Arabia, Cell C and Vodacom in South Africa, Orange and Vodafone in the U.K., AT&T in the U.S. and Etisalat in the UAE. More networks will be included in the near future, Airtel said. To activate the SmartROAM service, a customer needs to recharge with a minimum NGN 5,000.00 (US $24.87) within a calendar month in order to get free incoming calls for 30 days.
This is certainly a nice offer and should prove attractive to many travelers in these five countries that Nigerians frequently visit. Airtel’s partnerships with the operators there will likely bring in revenue for all parties concerned—certainly for Airtel by way of encouraging users to recharge their accounts, but also for the overseas operators, in that travelers will likely not take care to limit themselves to receiving calls only, but will also make outgoing calls that they must pay for at roaming rates.