TRAI Cuts Charges on Incoming ISD Calls to 30 Paise
The telecom regulatory body has decided to cut the charges to curb use of calling apps like WhatsApp and Skype.
Telecom regulator TRAI on Friday, 12 January, slashed international incoming call termination rate to 30 paise from 53 paise, to curb the "grey rout."
This implies that the margin from incoming international calls for the Indian telecom operators will drop from next month. Telecom firms levy termination charge on operators from whose networks calls have been made, for transmitting them to the subscriber.
The TRAI has reduced the termination charges payable by an International Long Distance Operator (ILDO) to the access provider in whose network the call terminates from Rs 0.53 per minute to Rs 0.30 per minute.TRAI statement
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said the new rule "shall come into force from the 1 February 2018."
This is the second big move made by the telecom regulator over the past few months, after they decided to cut down the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) for telcos in the country to 6 paise, and will be free from 2020 onwards.
So what’s the reason behind TRAI taking yet another, non-telcos-friendly move? In a background note, it mentioned existence of “grey market” which routes the ISD calls made to India by setting up illegal VoIP (voice over internet protocol) gateways, which need to curbed.
It further added that the menace of grey route poses serious security threat to the country, apart from causing significant leakage in the revenue of the country and telecom service providers.
The TRAI is of the view that while deciding on the appropriate level of ITC (international termination charge) in the country, curbing the menace of grey route should be a more important regulatory priority than facilitating the shift of the international incoming traffic from OTT route to carrier route.TRAI statement
The decision isn’t going to go down well with the operators, and is likely to be challenged, especially by those who’re already serving globally. For the likes of Reliance Jio, this move wouldn’t hurt them in the short term, especially when they’re yet to start full-fledged international operations.
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