TRAI extends deadline of 6 paise per minute call charges till December 2020

From 1 January 2021 onwards the termination charge for wireless to wireless domestic calls shall be zero.


Update: This copy is updated with a quote from Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

Telecom regulator TRAI on Tuesday said 6 paise per minute charge on mobile calls be made on competitors' networks will continue till 31 December 2020.

 TRAI extends deadline of 6 paise per minute call charges till December 2020

Representational image. Reuters

TRAI in 2017 had slashed the so-called interconnect usage charge (IUC) to 6 paise per minute from 14 paise and had said this regime will end by January 2020. But it has now finally extended the deadline.

"For wireless to wireless domestic calls, termination charge would continue to remain as Re 0.06 (paise six only) per minute up to 31 December 2020," Trai said.

The charges were reduced to 6 paise with effect from 1 October 2017, from 14 paise charged earlier and it was to become nil from 1 January 2020.

From 1 January 2021 onwards the termination charge for wireless to wireless domestic calls shall be zero, the regulator added.

Vodafone Idea had announced new plans under which call and data charges will be dearer for its pre-paid customers by up to 42 percent from 3 December. Besides this, Vodafone Idea will also charge 6 paise per minute for every outgoing call made by customers on to the network of other operators. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel had also announced new plans under which call and data charges will be dearer for its pre-paid customers by up to 42 percent from the same date. From 6 December, Jio joined in and announced that it will raise its voice and data tariff by up to 40 percent.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Director General, Rajan S Mathews said in a statement, "This is a welcome step in the right direction. COAI has always maintained that in a CPP (Calling Party Pays) format that we follow in India, there should always be cost based IUC, in line with global practice. We look forward to continuing support from the government and regulator to address the severe financial stress in the telecom sector."

With inputs from PTI.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd which publishes Firstpost

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