TRAI slashes termination charges for global long distance operators

Termination Charges in India Since 2003

TRAI slashes termination charges for global long distance operators

After reducing IUC charges in India to 6 paise per minutes, TRAI may motion to cut worldwide termination charges to 25-30 paise per minute, a report by Money Control said.

It said: "The Authority is of the view that, while deciding on the appropriate level of ITC (international termination charge) in the country, curbing the menace of grey route should be a more important regulatory priority than facilitating the shift of the worldwide incoming traffic from OTT route to carrier route".

At an earlier open house discussion, the issue of domestic and worldwide termination charge was discussed by stakeholders, wherein a need for addressing global charges at a more proactive level cropped up.

The low ITC in India has resulted in a skewed pattern of ILD traffic, with incoming to outgoing calls in the ratio of about 20:1, some stakeholders argue. However, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), opposing the decision, said that this could lead to an annual payment loss of Rs 2,000 crore for Indian operators from foreign carriers for incoming worldwide calls.

According to the stakeholders, an increase in ITC will provide higher foreign earnings for the country, and also a higher licence fee for the government.

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Most of these global calls terminated on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea's network.

Also, the move is expected to address the issue of "serious security threat" that the grey route poses to national security, besides the leakage in revenue due to the country and its carriers. Theand proliferation of OTT (over-the-top) route for carrying worldwide voice traffic has many non-cost factors, it added.

"The Indian telecom industry is passing through one of its toughest phases with severe financial stress ..."

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