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14 January 2018, 12:24 | Lucia Cruz
Mobile bills to become cheaper, TRAI slashes international incoming call termination rates
The prices of global calls are expected to drop.
Indian telcos are expecting a loss of Rs 2000 crores annually owing to the reduction in International Termination Charge (ITC) from the existing 53 paise to 30 paise, a statement from Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said on Friday.
Telecom regulator notified that termination charges have been reduced from 53 paise to 30 paise per minute.
Whatsapp and FaceTime among other apps offer high quality voice and video calls.
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.
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"Another issue raised in the CP (consultation paper) was about prescribing International Termination Charge and Prescription of revenue share between Indian ILDO (international long distance) and access provider in the International Termination Charge". The new charges will come into effect from February 1.
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 global calls. "At present, about 20 per cent worldwide incoming calls terminate in India via grey routes".
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 worldwide incoming traffic.
Almost 4.5 billion calls originate from India to overseas markets, while 88 billion calls are made to India on an average, Cellulars Association of Operators in India (COAI) report to TRAI revealed.
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