EXCLUSIVE: TRAI may today halve international interconnect charge to 25-30 paise

作者:SAMMY    發表日期:2019-06-14 14:18:41

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) may today announce halving of international termination charges to 25-30 paise per minute from 53 paise, according to a senior official familiar with the development.  The regulation will be effective from a later date.

International termination charges are paid by the telecom operator from whose country the call is originating to the service provider here on whose network the call terminates. The charges are payable on calls made to mobiles as well as landlines. The international operator recovers this charge from its subscriber.

TRAI had raised the international termination charges to 53 paise per minute from 40 paise in February 2015 while cutting the mobile termination charges to 14 paise per minute from 20 paise per minute. The regulator further cut the mobile termination charge to 6 paise in its September 19, 2017 order while leaving the subject of revising international termination charges open to further deliberations.

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TRAI’s September 19 document on regulations on domestic charges had specified it would issue a separate regulation on the issue and as things stand, that announcement could be made today.

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“Another issue raised in the CP (consultation paper) was about prescribing International Termination Charge and Prescription of revenue share between Indian ILDO (international long distance) and access provider in the International Termination Charge. The Authority is of the view that there is a need of more deliberation on the issue, and therefore the Authority will issue separate regulation on this issue,” TRAI had said in its September 19 tariff order on cutting local mobile termination charges.

A cut in international termination charges would go down well with the likes of AT&T and Verizon who had opposed the hike last time. Needless to say, most of the Indian operators would be unhappy, coming as it will, less than four months after the cut in mobile termination charges.