TRAI Slashes ISD Incoming Call Termination Rate to 30 Paise

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"The Authority 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 said in a statement.

After reducing IUC charges in India to 6 paise per minutes, TRAI may motion to cut worldwide termination charges to 25-30 paise per minute, a report by Money Control said.

It added that the grey market, which routes global calls by setting up illegal voice-over internet protocol gateways, needed to be curbed.

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.

Most of these global calls terminated on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea's network.

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The industry believes that the regulation from Trai to slash ILD termination rates from is a blow to an already stressed industry.

The loss to Indian telecom service providers on account of reduced ITC is expected to be approximately Rs. 2,000 crore annually, leading to a loss in revenue to the exchequer from both licence fee and GST. "Also, the move does not benefit any customers and will only benefit foreign carriers at the expense of the domestic industry, according to COAI".

The move follows a steep reduction of the domestic Interconnection Usage Charge from 14 paise per minute to 6 paise, effective from October 2017. "At present, about 20 per cent worldwide incoming calls terminate in India via grey routes". "It is important to rationalise the termination rates in light of the investments made by operators into networks, together with reasonable return on those investments, amid a southward movement in tariff", Singhal added.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said the new rule "shall come into force from the 1st February, 2018".

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