Mobile bills to become cheaper, TRAI slashes worldwide incoming call termination rates

Mobile bills to become cheaper TRAI slashes international incoming call termination rates

Mobile bills to become cheaper TRAI slashes international incoming call termination rates

After reducing IUC charges in India to 6 paise per minutes, TRAI may motion to cut worldwide termination charges to 25-30 paise per minute, a report by Money Control said.

The global termination charge is levied by telecom companies here from overseas operators on the networks of which a call may have been made. The prices of worldwide calls are expected to drop.

Whatsapp and FaceTime among other apps offer high quality voice and video calls.

Even the earlier ITC of ₹0.53 per minute was far lower than the world average of International Settlement Charge (ISC), which is ₹3-3.50 per minute.

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

The move is expected to hit hard the top three telecom players - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular - who are estimated to together generate revenues of about Rs 5,000 crore from incoming global calls.

However, Indian telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India are not happy with the decision.

The move follows a steep reduction of the domestic Interconnection Usage Charge from 14 paise per minute to 6 paise, effective from October 2017.

"The Authority is of the view that, while deciding on the appropriate level of ITC [international termination charge] in the country, curbing the menace of grey route should be a more important regulatory priority than facilitating the shift of the global incoming traffic from OTT [over-the-top] route to carrier route", TRAI said. "We therefore strongly urge the government and the Trai to re-examine the regulation, and rescind it in the interest of the nation and the telecom industry", COAI director general Rajan S Mathews said, adding that one of the association's members Reliance Jio, had divergent views on the issue.

Almost 4.5 billion calls originate from India to overseas markets, while 88 billion calls are made to India on an average, Cellulars Association of Operators in India (COAI) report to TRAI revealed.