The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to review international calling charges and has called for a meeting with all stakeholders to discuss the matter on October 16, ET Now reported citing sources. The telecom regulator would either bring a consultation paper or recommendations after the meeting to bring down the prices of both, international roaming and international calling rates from India.
TRAI had earlier discussed international calling rates with other regulators at Asia-Pacific Regulators’ Roundtable. The telecom regulator is looking to bring down the international calling rates because it is higher in India as compared to other countries, ET Now reported. Last week PTI reported that TRAI, in the meeting on October 16, would also review the international termination charge. The meeting would be with international long distance operators and the access providers.
The review meeting comes after the telecom regulator fixed a contentious domestic mobile call termination rates from 14 paise to 6 paise a minute. TRAI will ask the operators to give a presentation on the global practices, factors affecting such rates and suggest suitable methods for deriving the international termination charges. TRAI will come out with a separate regulation on the international termination charges, currently pegged at 53 paise per minute, PTI reported an official as saying.
“During discussions, operators have submitted that the termination charge for international calls fixed by the authority, puts the Indian access providers in a hugely disadvantageous situation vis-à-vis foreign service operators, as termination charges in some other countries are 8 to 10 times higher than international termination charges in India,” the TRAI paper had said.
On the other hand, some operators are of the view that there is no extra cost involved in terminating the international call, and, therefore, termination charges for domestic and international calls should be same, it had pointed out.