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Telecom operators split over call termination rate
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS):
Published on 29 May. 2011 10:48 PM IST
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Telecom operators are again at loggerheads over reviewing the interconnection usage charge (IUC), this time over the termination rate the operators charge on each other for terminating calls made by customers on their networks. While bigger telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, advocate a hike in the termination rates, newer players such as Uninor and CDMA operators like Reliance Communications stand for a reduction.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recently floated a consultation paper on the interconnection usage charge and had sought comments from the stakeholders.
Bharti Airtel has not suggested any rate but has advocated that it needs to be calculated keeping in mind the international practices.
While Reliance Communications has suggested the rate be made as low as six paise from 20 paise per minute currently, newer operator Uninor has suggested a Forward Looking Long-Run Average Incremental Cost (FL-LRIC) termination charge of 18.3 paise and a pure LRIC charge of 7.7. paise.
Reliance Communications also applauded the telecom regulator for reveiwing the termination charge and said: “The good work done by the authority to reduce termination charges should continue and it should not accept any of the fallacious arguments by the incumbents operators for higher mobile termination charge around the jargon like rural coverage, serving lower income subscribers etc.”
Termination charges play a significant role in the revenue generation of the telecom players.
While bigger players with larger number of subscribers end up making more money the smaller ones lag behind.
Therefore, the newer operators have also been voting for doing away with the IUC.
According to the TRAI, India has over 881 million telecom subscribers as on March 31, with over 162 million with Bharti Airtel and 134.6 million with Vodafone while a smaller operator such as Uninor has 22.79 million customers.

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