TRAI cuts worldwide call termination rates

TRAI cuts worldwide call termination rates

This comes on the back of excessive use of data driven apps that allow subscribers to make global calls at a fraction of the cost of a voice call.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday reduced global call termination charges (ITC) to 30 paise from the 53 paise now with effect from February 1, this year. "Telecom industry is of the view that the reduction in ITC is against national interest, as the country will lose foreign exchange, due to reduction of 43% in ITC by Trai", COAI stated.

Whatsapp and FaceTime among other apps offer high quality voice and video calls. The new rates will be in effect from February 1.

The worldwide termination charges (ITC) are the charges payable by an ILDO to the access provider in the country in whose network the call terminates.

The current charges of worldwide interconnect charges amount to 53 paise per minute.

The move may negatively impact top three telecom players - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular - who, together, are estimated to generate revenues of about Rs. 5,000 crore from incoming worldwide calls.

These rates are paid by foreign carriers for terminating global calls in India.

According to Trai, the reduction in termination charge would reduce arbitrage with domestic call tariffs, therefore plugging the illegal VoIP gateway business in India, which will in turn lead to the eradication of the grey market for global incoming traffic. "The Authority is of the view that there is a need of more deliberation on the issue, and therefore, the Authority will issue separate regulation on this issue", TRAI said in September 2017.