You will soon pay less for calls, interconnect fee set to be cut

NEW DELHI: Nearly a year after mobile calls and data became dirt cheap, more price cuts are around the corner as Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) is set to cut the fee mobile operators pay each other for connecting calls. At present 'interconnect usage charges' (IUC) stand at 14 paise per minute, but the new rate will come "comfortably under 10 paise per minute," a source told TOI. IUC has been a contentious issue ever since Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio disrupted mobile phone tariffs with its lifetime-free calling plans last September. Jio, which runs a massive bill picking up the IUC cost of its customers' free calls, wants the charge dropped. It has described IUC as an "artificial barrier created by incumbent operators with legacy technologies." However, older companies like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea earn thousands of crores of rupees from it and want it raised further. For example, Airtel, the country's biggest telecom company, had an IUC dealing of around Rs 10,279 crore last year, and it wants the rate hiked to over 30 paise per minute to take care of the "actual cost" of supporting the call termination network. In a recent letter to Trai chairman R S Sharma,...
9 Published By - The Economic Times - 2017.08.13. 03:41
Share |