TRAI recommends phased removal of termination charges

2 Nov 2011

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reportedly suggested removing termination charges in a phased manner over the course of the next three years, India’s Economic Times reports. With the rate currently set at INR0.20 (USD0.004) per minute, in a submission to the Supreme Court the TRAI is understood to have put forward a number of models for calculating interconnection usage charges (IUC), but has recommended that termination rates be completely removed by 2014. In the affidavit submitted to the court the regulator noted: ‘It is felt that it will take another two years for asymmetries in traffic flows to converge to some form of equilibrium between new and old operators, especially with an enabling termination charges regime, with termination charges set at lower levels than at present.’ The TRAI is reportedly of the opinion that the establishment of a clear path for the removal of termination charges would provide regulatory predictability and enable service providers to plan their networks and businesses accordingly. A final decision on the issue will be made by the apex court, although no timeframe has been announced for a ruling.