TRAI cuts ISD incoming termination charges; telecom industry cries foul

Termination Charges in India Since 2003

The latest rule from TRAI issued as part of the Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Fourteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2018, will benefit the operator which carries calls outside the country, officially referred to as the International Long Distance Operator (ILDO).

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) cut worldwide incoming call termination rate to 30 paise per minute from 53 paise per minute, said the release.

Even the earlier ITC of ₹0.53 per minute was far lower than the world average of International Settlement Charge (ISC), which is ₹3-3.50 per minute.

The move is expected to hit hard the top three telecom players - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular - who are estimated to together generate revenues of about Rs 5,000 crore from incoming worldwide calls.

TRAI said with the revision, the arbitrage opportunity between ITC and domestic call tariffs would become so insignificant that illegal VOIP gateway business in India would become unviable and the grey market for ILD incoming traffic would eventually cease to exist.

Lowes Companies Inc (NYSE:LOW) Institutional Investors Sentiment
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LOW. RBC Capital Markets maintained the shares of LOW in report on Wednesday, August 23 with "Buy" rating.

According to the stakeholders, an increase in ITC will provide higher foreign earnings for the country, and also a higher licence fee for the government.

These rates are paid by foreign carriers for terminating global calls in India. Theand proliferation of OTT (over-the-top) route for carrying global voice traffic has many non-cost factors, it added.

The regulator pointed out that it was doing so to curb the "grey route", which was posing a security threat to the country.

"The Indian telecom industry is passing through one of its toughest phases with severe financial stress ..."

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