Trai refuses to hike termination charges

New Delhi, March 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2005, 05:30am hrs
Telecom Regulatory Authority India (Trai) has rejected the proposal of mobile operators to increase termination charges from the current 30 paise to check grey traffic.

The regulator has also turned down the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltds (BSNL) proposal to allow it to negotiate with other international long distance (ILD) operators on termination charges.

As an access provider, BSNL was seeking permission to negotiate with the ILD operators, which bring international calls to India, so as to obtain a larger amount as termination charges from them.

Trai has examined the argument that if mobile operators received higher termination charges from ILD operators, they would have greater incentive to curb the grey market traffic. But as per a department of telecommunications (DoT) directive, they had already been asked to monitor in co-ordination with DoT the issue of illegal international traffic, Trai officials said.

This argument appeared to suggest the mobile operators be paid an incentive in order to follow the DoT directive.

This argument cannot be accepted by the authority, they said adding Trai was not convinced that the incentive to mobile operators would address grey traffic.

On the BSNL proposal to allow it to negotiate termination charges with ILD operators, officials said it would not be appropriate. The moment the negotiation process becomes a dispute, which is likely, the prevailing legal framework is such that Trai will not be in a position to address the matter.

This may lead to discord as BSNL has already entered the market as an ILD operator itself, it said.