Economy

Trai cuts termination charges on ISD calls; Reliance Jio happy, others not

Trai cuts termination charges on ISD calls; Reliance Jio happy, others not”

The move is against national interest as the country will lose precious foreign exchange due to a sharp reduction of 43% in ITC, said Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Assocation of India, in his reaction to the move.

The global termination charges (ITC) are the charges payable by an ILDO to the access provider in the country in whose network the call terminates.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday slashed global inter-connect usage charge to 30 paise from 53 paise per minute.

The latest rule from TRAI issued as part of the Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Fourteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2018, will benefit the operator which carries calls outside the country, officially referred to as the International Long Distance Operator (ILDO).

The menace of grey route poses serious security threat apart from causing significant leakage in the revenue accruable to India and its telecom service providers.

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. "Therefore, lowering of ITC to the cost level will facilitate shift of global incoming traffic from OTT services to ILD (international long distance) carrier and curb the menace of grey market, which will be in the interest of all stakeholders including security agencies", Trai said, explaining its decision.

"The Indian telecom industry is passing through one of its toughest phases with severe financial stress ... Also, the move does not benefit any customers and will only benefit foreign carriers at the expense of the domestic industry, according to COAI". "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 said in September 2017.



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