Trai cuts ISD incoming call termination rate to 30 paise

  • Trai cuts ISD incoming call termination rate to 30 paise

Trai cuts ISD incoming call termination rate to 30 paise

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reduced worldwide call termination charges (ITC) to 30 paise from the 53 paise. The new regulations shall come into force from February 1, 2018.

The termination charge is paid by an global long distance operator, from whose network the call originated, to the Indian telecom operator on whose network it terminated.

"Another issue raised in the CP (consultation paper) was about prescribing International Termination Charge and Prescription of revenue share between Indian ILDO (international long distance) and access provider in the International Termination Charge". Earlier, TRAI cut interconnect usage charges (IUC) for mobile calls to 6 paise a minute from 14 paise. "It is expected that if the arbitrage opportunity is plugged or kept to a minimum, the attractiveness of the grey route for carrying worldwide incoming voice traffic would be lost, and thereby, the carrier route for global incoming traffic would witness a legitimate growth".

TRAI said the menace of grey route poses serious security threat to the country apart from causing significant leakage in the revenue accruable to the country and its telecom service providers, and, proliferation of OTT (over-the-top) route for the carrying worldwide voice traffic has many non-cost factors.

Indian telecom operators are already going through severe financial issues, and this move will further increase their woes.

"The loss to Indian telcos is expected to be approximately Rs 2000 crore annually, and this will lead to a loss in revenue to the exchequer, from both Licence Fee and GST", he said and added, "We strongly urge the government and TRAI to re-examine the regulation, and rescind it in the interest of the nation and the telecom industry".

COAI said that the new entrant's views were "divergent" on the issue, but Reliance Jio did not comment on the matter individually.

Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular had, consistently, wanted the worldwide rate to be increased - to Re 1 initially and to Rs 3.50 later on the grounds that existing rates are very low for India when compared to global markets, which in turn hurt call volumes going out of India, and thus revenue.

The incumbent carriers always favoured hiking global calling rates to Rs 1 initially and Rs 3.50 later on.

Telecom firms levy termination charge on operators from whose networks calls have been made, for transmitting them to the subscriber.