Trai cuts termination charges on ISD calls; Reliance Jio happy, others not

TRAI ISD calling ISD incoming call international incoming call ISD call rate cut COAI OTT Internet protocol technology news

Countries such as the US, UK and Germany charge 67 paise, Rs 13.36 and Rs 10.69, respectively, as termination charge per minute for worldwide incoming calls, far higher than India's 53 paise a minute.

The latest rule from TRAI issued as part of the Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Fourteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2018, will benefit the operator which carries calls outside the country, officially referred to as the International Long Distance Operator (ILDO).

At an earlier open house discussion, the issue of domestic and worldwide termination charge was discussed by stakeholders, wherein a need for addressing global charges at a more proactive level cropped up. In 2011 there was one outgoing call from India.

On the basis of the requests put forth by stakeholders in the open forum, the authority prescribed revised rates of termination charges.

Most of these global calls terminated on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea's network. "The loss to Indian telecom service providers on account of the reduced ITC.is expected to be ₹2,000 crore annually, and this will lead to a loss in revenue to the exchequer, from both licence fee and GST", said Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI. The sector regulator pointed out that the grey market, which routes the ISD calls made in India by setting up illegal voice-over internet protocol gateways, something that needed to be curbed. The reduction does not benefit any customers and will only benefit foreign carriers ...

But TRAI said the move could curb the use of grey routes and the proliferation of OTT (over-the-top) routes for global voice calls. Earlier, TRAI cut interconnect usage charges (IUC) for mobile calls to 6 paise a minute from 14 paise.

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