Members of Parliament asked telecom regulator TRAI to remove mobile interconnect usage charges (IUC) to lower call rates. TRAI, which is reviewing its IUC policy, today conducted an open house discussion on the issue. MPs from both the houses, telecom operators and industry stakeholders, among others participated in the discussion. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAIAlso Read - Ola to offer free oxygen concentrators to the needy
“When TRAI has submitted before Supreme Court in 2011 that it will end termination charge on mobile calls in 2014 then it should have done it. At least now remove it so that burden on consumers is lowered and calls are made more affordable,” Lok Sabha MP Ninong Ering said in the open house.
Telecom operators levy interconnect usage charge (IUC) on incoming calls from the network of another operator. These charges are passed on to subscribers by service providers. At present, operators charge 14 paise for every incoming calls on their network which is paid by the company from which the call originates.
Ering, who represents Arunanchal East constituency, said that the government also needs to take steps to increase telecom connectivity in the northeast region. Congress leader Rashid Alvi questioned TRAI issuing 14 paise mobile termination charges after its submission before the apex court that it should be 10 paise till 2014 and then made zero. ALSO READ: New call drop norms in a week, spectrum sale paper in August: TRAI
“TRAI should follow international practice of making termination charge zero and pave way for encouraging new technologies in the country,” Alvi said.
Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon cited his past letters written to TRAI and said that zero IUC provides flexibility for all telecom operators to invest more in the network and offer better tariffs. ALSO READ: TRAI recommends 50% cut in VSAT entry fee
“It is very surprising that even after so many advantages of BAK, it was not adopted and consumers are burdened to pay higher charges for off-net calls,” Memon said. He also spoke against telecom operators logic for demanding high IUC because of asymmetry in call traffic.