TRAI Slashes International Inter-connect Charges to 30 Paise Per Minute

Marco Green
January 13, 2018

Adding to the woes of the embattled telecom sector, the telecom regulator may cut global call termination or interconnect usage charges by half.

The Cellular Association of Operators in India (COAI) had earlier submitted to Trai that about 4.5 billion calls originate from India to overseas markets, while 88 billion calls land in India from other countries.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday cut termination charges for global incoming calls to wireline and wireless connections, to ₹0.30 per minute from ₹0.53, which experts say may not only impact operators, but also lead to the country losing an opportunity to earn higher foreign exchange.

The global termination charge is levied by telecom companies here from overseas operators on the networks of which a call may have been made.

The regulator pointed out that it was doing so to curb the "grey route", which was posing a security threat to the country. At present, about 20 per cent global incoming calls terminate in India via grey routes.

The loss to Indian telecom service providers on account of reduced ITC is expected to be approximately ₹2,000 crore annually, leading to a loss in revenue to the exchequer from both licence fee and GST. The regulation from Trai to slash ILD termination rates from 53p/ min to 30p/ min is a body blow to an already stressed industry. The reduction does not benefit any customers and will only benefit foreign carriers ... "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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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