Sector watchdog the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has lowered the International Termination Charge (ITC) following consultation with industry stakeholders. The charge, paid by international operators terminating traffic on local Indian networks, was lowered to INR0.30 (USD0.00472) per minute from INR0.53 per minute. The ITC had previously been lowered to INR0.30 in February 2004, but was increased to INR0.40 in April 2009 before rising to INR0.53 from March 2015.
The regulator noted that the opinions voiced during the consultation fell into two ‘sharply divided’ camps, with one seeking an upward revision of ITC and the other requesting that it be lowered to the level of domestic termination charges. The former group claimed that the higher ITC would help providers offer more affordable domestic tariffs as well as increasing revenues for the government. On the other hand, the latter group argued that reducing the charge would help combat the grey market and shift traffic to international long distance (ILD) carriers from over-the-top (OTT) providers.