Cell Cos Cost Of Terminating Call 29 P/Minute, Says Trai

New Delhi: | Updated: Jan 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
The cost of termination of a call for cellular operators is 29 paise per minute in metros and 40 paise per minute in circles according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) estimates. The estimates of Trai were based on data of the audited results for 2001 of 25 cellular operators, which accounted for 70 to 80 per cent of subscribers, according to Trai officials. They were unwilling to share the cost of originating a call for a cellular operator.

The costs were based on the 2001 data as the authority had received audited results from only around seven or eight cellular operators for 2002. And such costs have not changed much on an year-on-year basis. On the components comprising the cost, the officials said, The cost includes all operational expenditure incurred by cellular operators on license fee, spectrum charges and fifty per cent of marketing expenditure as reported by these operators. The license fee was built on top of the cost by Trai, instead of taking it from the cellular operators reports as the license fee varies for various operators depending on their revenue and the circles where they operate.

Officials added that they did not factor in some components like losses made on account of paging division or property devaluation which had been shown by some cellular operators as their cost. We considered the revenue the operators get from airtime of incoming and outgoing calls, value-added services, they said.

About the basic networks, they said that the cost for origination and termination of a call is 50 paise each. To arrive at this figure, Trai took the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd audited results for year 2002 as the base.

Moving on to the wireless in local loop (mobile) or WLL(M) networks, the officials explained that ideally, by virtue of WLL(M) being a basic service, Trai should have fixed the origination and termination costs at the same level as fixed networks, which is 50 paise. But, taking into account the fact that WLL (M) is a wireless network and its costs would be lower than that of fixed networks, Trai fixed the termination costs at 30 paise, (which is almost at par with the termination cost of cellular networks) for metros for calls originating from both cellular and basic phones. The authority has fixed a termination charge of 40 paise for calls originating from fixed networks and 40 paise, with an additional 20 paise for each TAX (trunk automated exchange) used, for calls originating from cellular networks.