Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued new regulations that mandate service providers to enter into interconnection agreement within 30 days of receiving network connectivity request from another operator.
Dubbed as ‘The Telecommunication Interconnection Regulations, 2108’, this allows operators to come to an agreement ‘on the non-discriminatory basis’. These regulations will come into effect from February 01, 2018. The regulations comprise of important aspects of interconnection including interconnection agreement, provisioning of initial interconnection and augmentation of Points of Interconnections (POIs), interconnection charges, disconnection of POIs and financial disincentive on interconnection matters.
The regulator has also laid down a framework for a step-by-step process for provisioning of ports at POIs. “Through these regulations, the authority has mandated that every service provider shall, within thirty days of receipt of a request from a service provider, enter into interconnection agreement on a non-discriminatory basis, with such service provider,” TRAI said in a statement.
The regulator has also added that if any service provider disobeys the regulations, it will be penalized. The provider has to pay a sum of Rs 1 lakh per licensed service area. The regulator issued a Consultation Paper on Review of Regulatory Framework of Interconnection on October 21, 2016, for seeking comments of the stakeholders and on the basis of the comments received from stakeholders, the Authority has laid down the new rules.
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The biggest benefactor of this decision will be Reliance Jio as the operator has more originating calls as the compared to the ones that are terminated to its network. Jio has been providing free calls on its network since its inception, which has proven to be a burden for other telecom operators.