Economy

TRAI cuts global call termination rates

TRAI cuts global call termination rates

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).

Telecom regulator Trai Friday slashed global incoming call termination rate to 30 paise, from 53 paise, to curb the "grey route", an official statement said.

This comes on the back of excessive use of data driven apps that allow subscribers to make worldwide calls at a fraction of the cost of a voice call.

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.

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The halving of calling charges was estimated to swipe Rs 5,000 crore in revenues from incoming worldwide calls, a report by ET said.

The Indian telecom industry earns about ₹4,500 crore a year of forex for terminating global calls, and pays a licence fee of ₹450 crore. The new rate will be effective from Feb 1.

This is the second blow after Trai reduced domestic termination charges from 14 to 6 paisa in October a year ago. "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.

The number of worldwide calls made to India were comparatively lesser than those originating from the country.


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