TRAI reduces worldwide termination rates

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Global calls may become cheaper as the telecom regulator has cut worldwide incoming call termination charges, according to an official statement released on Friday. The prices of worldwide calls are expected to drop.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday reduced worldwide call termination charges (ITC) to 30 paise from the 53 paise now with effect from February 1, this year.

Whatsapp and FaceTime among other apps offer high quality voice and video calls.

The incumbent carriers always favoured hiking global calling rates to Rs 1 initially and Rs 3.50 later on.

The halving of calling charges was estimated to swipe Rs 5,000 crore in revenues from incoming worldwide calls, a report by ET said. "At present, about 20 per cent worldwide incoming calls terminate in India via grey routes".

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The move follows a steep reduction of the domestic Interconnection Usage Charge from 14 paise per minute to 6 paise, effective from October 2017.

The issue had formed a part of the consultation paper on Interconnection Usage Charges or IUC but was carved out for separate deliberations by the regulator.

"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.

The number of global calls made to India were comparatively lesser than those originating from the country.