TRAI slashes termination charges for global long distance operators

TRAI ISD calling ISD incoming call international incoming call ISD call rate cut COAI OTT Internet protocol technology news

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

Indian telcos are expecting a loss of Rs 2000 crores annually owing to the reduction in International Termination Charge (ITC) from the existing 53 paise to 30 paise, a statement from Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said on Friday.

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

The reduction would only benefit foreign carriers at the expense of domestic players, he said.

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TRAI said the menace of grey route poses serious security threat to the country apart from causing significant leakage in the revenue accruable to the country and its telecom service providers, and, proliferation of OTT (over-the-top) route for the carrying global voice traffic has many non-cost factors.

However, Reliance Jio which is also a member of the industry body has a divergent view on this issue.

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.

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TRAI had raised the global termination charges to 53 paise per minute from 40 paise in February 2015, while cutting the mobile termination charges to 14 paise per minute from 20 paise per minute. "At present, about 20 per cent worldwide incoming calls terminate in India via grey routes".

"Any reduction in termination cost is going to have a major impact".

Telecom firms levy termination charge on operators from whose networks calls have been made, for transmitting them to the subscriber.

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The reduction in the charge will lower the attractiveness of the grey route for carrying global incoming voice traffic and therefore carrier route for worldwide incoming traffic would witness a legitimate growth, Trai has said while backing its move.

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