Trai has cut the interconnect usage charges (IUC) to 6 paise per minute from 14 paise. The reduction in the mobile termination charge is likely to yield consumer benefits,” Trai said.
If the tariff cuts in your mobile charges over the past one year were already not enough, expect your bills to come down even more with telecom regulator Trai announcing a steep cut in charges phone companies pay each other for connecting calls.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which started the review around a year back, cut the interconnect user charges (IUC) to 6 paise per minute from the existing 14 paise charge. While the new charges come into effect from October, the regulator has even laid the foundation to do away with the IUC altogether: the charges have been ordered to go down to zero from January 1, 2020.
“It has been observed that reducing termination rates (IUC) has benefitted consumers and enhanced competition… The reduction in the mobile termination charge is likely to yield consumer benefits,” Trai said in its new regulation even as older operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular strongly oppose the move, rather fighting for a hike in IUC rates.
The companies have, however, been countered equally aggressively by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, a company that heralded the new dirt-cheap tariff regime September last year when it launched its services with life-time free voice calling and very-low data tariffs. Jio will benefit the most from the measure.
Industry watchers say Jio is likely to announce new lower tariffs very soon even as the older operators will knock at the doors of the court to oppose Trai’s new regulation.
Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have already been bleeding after the launch of Jio and the new regulation is likely to put more pressure on their financials.