Outgoing call levy stays
Telecom operators will continue to pay 6 paise per minute for every outgoing call made to their competitors’ network till December 31, 2020 following sector regulator Trai’s decision announced on Tuesday. These charges will become zero from January 1, 2021.
Telecom industry body COAI sees it as a relief for the debt-ridden sector and expects that continuing with six paise mobile call termination charge will not have any impact on consumers as operators have already absorbed this charge in their recently increased mobile call and data rates.
“For wireless to wireless domestic calls, termination charge would continue to remain as Re 0.06 (paise six only) per minute up to December 31, 2020,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said.
The rate was reduced to 6 paise with effect from October 1, 2017 from 14 paise charged earlier and it was to become nil from January 1, 2020.
“From January 1, 2021 onwards the termination charge for wireless (mobile) to wireless (mobile) domestic calls shall be zero,” Trai added.
According to estimates, industry players lost Rs 11,000 crore when interconnect usage charge for mobile calls was reduced to 6 paise from 14 paise. Further, removal of the mobile call termination charges from January 1, 2020 would have impacted the sector by Rs 3,672 crore.
The 5G trials are expected to begin in the last quarter of the current fiscal and the government has neither approved nor rejected any applicant so far, a senior telecom department official said on Tuesday.
Asked if the government has taken a decision on Huawei’s participation, the official said that 12 applications have been received for 5G trials and that it has not rejected or approved any proposal so far.