Interconnect charge is one which a telecom service provider pays to other service providers for using their network to complete calls.
The sector regulator had specified the ‘Interconnect Usage Charges’ (IUC) in 2003 and subsequently the charges were revised in 2006 and 2009. The prevailing IUC regime was notified in 2009.
The TRAI invited comments of stakeholders on a host of issues in the consultation paper. The issues included the approach that is needed to be adopted for prescribing the charge, methodology for estimating mobile termination cost and appropriate level for international termination charge.
Stakeholders are required to send their comments to the Authority by Dec 11 and counter-comments by Dec 18.
“Uninor welcomes the step initiated by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to seek consultation paper on interconnection usage charges (IUC). The consultation paper initiates a fresh review of the IUC regulations which is an integral part of tariff structuring for operators. We hope that the final recommendations would offer a level playing field to all operators and benefit the customers by moving towards a lower IUC regime,” a spokesperson of Uninor said.
At present, the mobile call termination charges for all local and national long distance stood at 20 paise per minute, which means a telecom company pays 20 paise per minute to another company on whose network the call has been made. The termination charge for incoming international long distance calls is 40 paise per minute, the paper added.