International calls may become cheaper as the telecom regulator has cut international incoming call termination charges, according to an official statement released on Friday. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) cut international incoming call termination rate to 30 paise per minute from 53 paise per minute, said the release. The new charges will come into effect from February 1.
The latest rule from TRAI issued as part of the Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Fourteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2018, will benefit the operator which carries calls outside the country, officially referred to as the International Long Distance Operator (ILDO). The international termination charges (ITC) are the charges payable by an ILDO to the access provider in the country in whose network the call terminates.
The prevailing IUC Regulation was notified on 23rd February, 2015 and came into effect from 1st March, 2015. TRAI issued a consultation paper on ‘review of interconnection usage charges’ on August 5, 2016, for seeking comments of industry stakeholders.
While issuing ‘Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Thirteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2017 (5 of 2017) dated September 19, 2017, the authority observed the need for more deliberation on the issue of ITC. Later, a day-long workshop was conducted on October 16, 2017 to consult all stakeholders on the issue.
The latest amendment has come after all these deliberations, TRAI said.
Earlier, TRAI cut interconnect usage charges (IUC) for mobile calls to 6 paise a minute from 14 paise. This came into effect on October 1.
The slash in IUC had miffed the telecom operator such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone which had said that the new rule would benefit Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio.