Millennium Post

Trai halves inter-operator STD call carriage charge

Long distance domestic telephone calls are set to become cheaper as regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday slashed the network charge that one operator pays to another for carrying the call by about 50 per cent to 35 paise a minute.

Carriage charges play an important role in determining the long distance (STD) tariffs. “The Authority has reduced the ceiling of the domestic carriage charge to 35 paisa per minute from the existing 65 paisa per minute. This should also reduce STD call rates,” the TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta said. Telecom operators pay domestic carriage charge when their customers make an STD call on the network of another company. The STD calls are transmitted across country using network of National Long Distance operators (NLDOs).

“It was observed that there is a large variation i.e., some NLDOs offer carriage charges as low as 9 paise per minute while a few others charge at the ceiling rate which was 65 paise per minute. The potential misuse of a high ceiling is another reason that prompted a review of the carriage charge regime,” TRAI Advisor Arvind Kumar explained. TRAI will review these charges again in 2017-18 as present networks are transforming in to Internet based network which is expected change carriage
cost structure.

“The Authority has decided that it shall review the carriage charges regime two years after it has been in force, i.e., the review will be undertaken and concluded in financial year 2017-18,” Kumar said.

Telecom scrips edge lower

Telecom stocks saw selling pressure on Tuesday as regulator Trai removed charges that a landline service provider has to pay to other service providers for transmitting its customers’ phone calls. Shares of Reliance Communications fell by 2.14 per cent, Idea Cellular was down 1.94 per cent and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd lost 1.53 per cent on the BSE. Tata Teleservices went down by 1.46 per cent and Bharti Airtel fell by 1.01 per cent.
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