Published On: Tue, Sep 19th, 2017

TRAI slashes mobile termination charges to 6 p/min

New Delhi: Indian telecom regulator TRAI on Tuesday came out with a regulation cutting call termination charges from mobile to mobile by over half to 6 paise per minute effective from October 1. The measure drew stiff opposition from a majority of telecom operators who plan to seek legal redressal.

Such a revision in the mobile termination charge is in line with the international trends

The sector regulator also plans to phase out Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) by January 1, 2020.

“For mobile to mobile, termination charge has been reduced from 14 paise per minute to 6 paise per minute with effect from October 1, 2017,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a statement.

“Such a revision in the mobile termination charge is in line with the international trends.”

Domestic termination charges are the charges payable by a telecom service provider (TSP) whose subscriber originates the call, to the TSP in whose network the call terminates.

TRAI further added: “From January 1, 2020 onwards the termination charge for all types of domestic calls shall be zero.”

The TRAI paper said: “The elimination of IUC will result in direct benefit to customers through lower tariffs.”

It said for other types of calls (such as wire-line to mobile, wire-line to wire-line and wire-line to mobile), the termination charge would continue to remain zero.

The TRAI said: “Further, the cost of termination of calls will drastically come down over a period of two years and very small residual value, if any, can be absorbed by the TSPs in their tariff offerings. As a result, the Authority prescribes a Bill and Keep regime for the wireless to wireless calls effective from the January 1, 2020.”

The prevailing Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) Regulation was notified on February 23, 2015 and came into effect from March 1, 2015.

This regulation of TRAI will give a big jolt to the incumbent TSPs like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular who said a lesser IUC regime will be detrimental for the industry. However, new entrant in the industry Reliance Jio has always demanded zero termination charges.

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