Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced that it is hiking the price of international call termination rates. The move is said to bring some relief to the debt-ridden telecom operators.
The regulator has said that the international termination charges (ITC) will be brought under forbearance, meaning that telecom operators will have the flexibility to decide the tariffs. The regulator said that the operators should hike the price within the prescribed range of 35 paise per minute to 65 paise per minute. To recall, the regulator earlier fixed the international call termination charges to 30 paise per minute.
For the unintended, ITC is a charge that international long distance operator (ILDO) pays to an Indian operator for a call that terminates on the operator’s network. Interestingly, even if the operators decide to charge the upper limit, it will be still lower than most of the countries. For your reference, the US charges ILDO Rs 1.1 per miniature, while Singapore charges Rs 1.7 per minute.
Cellular Operators Association of India director general Rajan S. Mathews welcomed the revision in ITC. “We welcome this step by the Regulator to revise the Fixed International Termination Charge from 30 paise to a forbearance regime within a prescribed range of 35 paise to 65 paise per minute. In our response to the consultation paper, we had submitted that in order to protect the interest of Indian telecom operators, the regulator should prescribe a higher rate of ILD termination charge to ensure parity with other countries that terminate calls to India.
“With this revision, ILDOs are expected to adjust their charges accordingly and regain parity with international countries. This is certainly a step in the right direction and will ensure the country does not lose precious FOREX in paying higher international termination rates to other countries. The Indian telecom sector needs more such measures to ensure robust telecom infrastructure and financial health,” Mathews said.