comscore Interconnection charges has no relation with tariff: Sunil Bharti Mittal

Interconnection charges has no relation with tariff: Sunil Bharti Mittal

Sunil Bharti Mittal speaks on Interconnection charges.

  • Published: July 25, 2017 5:00 PM IST
sunil bharti mittal

Charges, as levied by an operator on incoming calls landing on its network, have no relation with tariff, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal told regulator TRAI, pitching for continuation of interconnect user charge (IUC). Mittal said the free or affordable phone calls customers are enjoying prove that IUC does not come in the way of affordable rates. Also Read - TRAI instructs all telecom operators to enable port-out SMS facility irrespective of tariff plans

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“IUC has no relation to customer tariff and that customers are enjoying free or affordable calls is a testimony that the current IUC regime is not coming in the way of affordable tariffs,” Mittal said in a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Reliance Jio offers free voice calls while other telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, have slashed call rates.

TRAI fixes IUC that has several components. Charges levied for interconnecting mobile calls are at the centre of the IUC issue. A telecom operator charges 14 paise per minute for every incoming mobile call, called mobile termination charge (MTC), received from the other network.

Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications, Aircel, MTNL have demandedscrapping of the IUC regime and moving to the Bill and Keep (BAK) regime under which no operator raises such demand. Established players — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular — on Tuesday soughtdoubling of MTC, part of IUC, saying termination of incoming calls on their networks costs 30-35 paise per minute. ALSO READ: TRAI rejects COAI demand for another open house on IUC

“The current IUC at 14 paise is already well below cost and it will be in fitness of things that while taking a final decision, the Authority upholds the principle of compensation of work done by each operator and the IUC is set at costs discovered through a fair and transparent mechanism,” Mittal added.

He raised the issue of termination charges levied on incoming calls from overseas destinations, fixed at 53 paise per minute by TRAI, and “no one has even talked about IUC for an international call settlement”. According to Mittal, Indian telecom operators are required to pay approximately 1 cent for every calls that originate from their network and terminate on that of foreign operators.

“TARI not even debating this issue, therefore, confirms the Authority’s acceptance to the principle that IUC is indeed settled global practice built on fair and equitable settlements for work done by each operator for carrying each other’s call,” Mittal said. He felt that BAK should be rejected and India should not be subjected to a regime which is alien to the mobile industry the world over.

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  • Published Date: July 25, 2017 5:00 PM IST

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