The revised charge will be effective from February 1.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday cut the termination charge on incoming international calls to 30 paise per minute from 53 paise. Termination charge is payable to the local operator on whose network the call terminates and is paid by the international operator from whose network the call has originated. The revised charge will be effective from February 1.
Moneycontrol was the first to break the news that the telecom regulator was set to halve the charge to between 25 paise and 30 paise per minute in a report on Thursday.
International calls on mobile networks face competition from calls on Internet-based over-the-top applications like WhatsApp and FaceTime. The latter cost little since voice on Internet goes in the form of data and such calls are not charged separately but form part of the cost incurred on buying the data pack.
TRAI had raised the international termination charges to 53 paise per minute from 40 paise in February 2015 while cutting the mobile termination charges to 14 paise per minute from 20 paise per minute. The regulator further cut the mobile termination charge to 6 paise in its September 19, 2017 order while leaving the subject of revising international termination charges open to further deliberations.
The regulator’s September 19 document on regulations on domestic charges had specified it would issue a separate regulation on the issue.TRAI’s latest step would go down well with the likes of AT&T and Verizon who had opposed the hike last time. Needless to say, most of the Indian operators would be unhappy, coming as it does, less than four months after the cut in mobile termination charges.