Raising international call termination charges step in right direction, more such measures needed: COAI

NEW DELHI, Apr 17: Industry body COAI on Friday termed regulator’s decision to raise international call termination charges a “step in the right direction” and said the Indian telecom sector needs more such measures to ensure robust infrastructure and financial health.

“With this revision, International Long Distance Operator (ILDOs) are expected to adjust their charges accordingly and regain parity with international countries,” the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) said in a statement.

On Friday, telecom regulator Trai said that international call termination charges will be brought under ‘forbearence’ but within prescribed range of 35 paise/min to 65 paise/min against a fixed rate of 30 paise/minute earlier — a move that is expected to benefit telecom operators.

While the regulator has given a range with floor and a ceiling, and left it to operators to set the rate under a forbearance regime, it has, however, mandated that operators will offer non-discriminatory rate for such termination charges to everyone.

COAI Director General, Rajan S Mathews said, “We welcome this step by the regulator to revise the fixed international termination charge from 30 paise to a forbearance regime within a prescribed range of 35 paise to 65 paise per minute.

“In our response to the consultation paper, we had submitted that in order to protect the interest of Indian telecom operators, the regulator should prescribe a higher rate of ILD termination charge to ensure parity with other countries that terminate calls to India.”

Terming sector regulator’s latest move as “a step in the right direction”, the COAI said this will ensure the country does not lose precious forex in paying higher international termination rates to other countries.

“The Indian telecom sector needs more such measures to ensure robust telecom infrastructure and financial health,” Mathews added. (PTI)


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