Sectoral regulator TRAI has initiated the process to review interconnect charges, which one telecom operator pays to other service providers for using their network to complete calls. Also Read - Airtel 5G Mumbai trials show download speeds of 1.2Gbps, upload at 850Mbps
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had specified the ‘Interconnect Usage Charges’ (IUC) in 2003 and subsequently the charges have been revised in 2006 and 2009. The prevailing IUC regime was notified in 2009. At present, the mobile call termination charges for all local and national long-distance stood at 20 paisa per minute, which means a telecom company pays 20 paise per minute to other company on whose network call has been made. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
The termination charge for incoming international long distance calls is 40 paisa per minute. TRAI today released a consultation paper on IUC seeking comments of stakeholders on a host of issues including the approach which needs to be adopted for prescribing the charge, methodology for estimating mobile termination cost and appropriate level for international termination charge. Also Read - Let our firms take part in 5G trials, China tells India
The regulator in its last review had reduced the interconnect charges. Stakeholders are required to send their comments to the Authority by December 11 and counter-comments by December 18. TRAI said in a multi-operator multi-service scenario, an IUC regime is an essential requirement to enable subscribers of one service provider to communicate with subscribers of another service provider. “Providing interconnection entails costs for which service providers need to be fairly compensated,” it said.
The regulator said primary purpose of an IUC regime is to facilitate inter-operator settlement.