Trai cuts termination charge on mobile voice calls; Reliance Jio to gain

20 September, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • TRAI slashes mobile termination charges All you need to know

Effective October 1st, TRAI has reduced IUC charges to 6 paise/minute from the existing 14 paise/minute.

In a letter to Trai chief R.S. Sharma last month, Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said the call termination cost of a typical Indian cellular firm worked out to 30-35 paise a minute. "When mobile operators decide on investment levels, they reasonably anticipate IUC for terminating traffic on their network", Koong pointed out.

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has slashed the call termination charges from mobile to mobile to 6 paise per minute, from the current 14 paise. The Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) has been one contended issue, recently questioned by Reliance Jio, which termed IUC as an "artificial barrier". While the new charges come into effect from October, the regulator has even laid the foundation to do away with the IUC altogether: the charges have been ordered to go down to zero from January 1, 2020.

The older telecom players are expected to move court to challenge Trai's decision as it threatens to suck out a massive chunk of their revenues.

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An earlier report claimed, Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications, Aircel, MTNL demanded scrapping of the IUC regime and moving to the Bill and Keep (BAK) regime under which no operator raises such demand.

Newcomer Reliance Jio, which has been aggressively selling its services by offering deep discounts and free handsets, has sought lower interconnect charges as its subscribers make more calls to rival networks while paying lower rates. It is paid to the telecom operator who receives the call. However, TRAI has been in support for reducing IUC charges off late. Jio also stated that it is of the opinion that waiving the charge will benefit consumers. Since the rule bars operators from charging their customers for receiving calls, the interconnect usage charge was allowed as a way to recover the cost of incoming calls.

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