Telecom Calls Set To Get Cheaper; Interconnection Charges Slashed By More Than Half

TRAI said the new call termination charge will be applicable from October 1, 2017, and will be completely eliminated from January 1, 2020.

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Telecom Calls Set To Get Cheaper; Interconnection Charges Slashed By More Than Half

Mobile call termination charges will now be 6 paise per minute.

Highlights

  1. The new charges will be applicable from October 1, 2017
  2. Airtel and few other operators wanted the termination rate to be raised
  3. Although, Reliance Jio had been seeking waiving of the charge
New Delhi: In a move that may result in lower call charges, telecom regulator TRAI on Tuesday slashed the rate paid by an operator for termination of mobile call on a rival network to 6 paise from the current 14 paise a minute. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said the new call termination charge will be applicable from October 1, 2017, and will be completely eliminated from January 1, 2020.

The cut in the charge runs contrary to the demands made by established operators, including Bharti Airtel, which wanted the termination rate to be raised and benchmarked against the actual cost.

The latest entrant Reliance Jio, on the other hand, had been seeking waiving of the charge, saying it will benefit consumers.

"On the basis of comments received from stakeholders, in writing or during the open house discussion or during the workshop, the Authority has prescribed revised domestic mobile termination charges through these regulations," TRAI said in a statement.

Terming the cut in call termination charges as "disastrous", industry body COAI said its members -- which include the likes of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone -- may move court against regulator Trai's decision.

"It was a disastrous move... most of the members had indicated that they would probably move court for redressal in the matter because this type of hit to the financial statements of major operators is clearly not something that they can sustain and that has been made very clear to the regulator," COAI Director General Rajan Mathews said.

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