Trai slashes ISD incoming call termination rate to 30 paise per minute

Mae Love
January 13, 2018

Telecom regulator Trai on Friday slashed global incoming call termination rate to 30 paise, from 53 paise, to curb the "grey route".

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. However, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), opposing the decision, said that this could lead to an annual payment loss of Rs 2,000 crore for Indian operators from foreign carriers for incoming global calls.

The current charges of global interconnect charges amount to 53 paise per minute. Besides, an increase in ITC will generate additional funds for Indian operators, help buildtelecom infrastructure in rural areas and enable affordable tariffs to consumers.

Telecom firms levy termination charge on operators from whose networks calls have been made, for transmitting them to the subscriber. Theand proliferation of OTT (over-the-top) route for carrying worldwide voice traffic has many non-cost factors, it added.

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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 needs to curbed.

"The Indian telecom industry is passing through one of its toughest phases with severe financial stress ..."

The loss to Indian telecom service providers on account of reduced ITC is expected to be approximately ₹2,000 crore annually, leading to a loss in revenue to the exchequer from both licence fee and GST.

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