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Call rates may see a dip soon

Regulator believes revival of fixed lines will aid ‘Digital India’ campaign

In a move that is likely to lead to reduction in call rates — both for mobile as well as fixed line users — the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Monday slashed various interconnection charges that one operator pays to the other for using their network. Though it is not yet known how much the tariff reduction will be.

The regulator has done away with call termination charges paid by landline service providers with the aim of arresting the fall in the usage.

TRAI believes the revival of fixed lines will complement the Modi-government’s flagship programme ‘Digital India’.

“As more and more customers are seeking high speed data [Internet] services, wireless networks are increasingly finding it tough to meet the ever-rising data demand, particularly in a spectrum-constrained sector.

Wireline networks, on the other hand, can deliver much higher speeds of data transfer,” TRAI said in its new regulations.

The regulator has cut interconnection usage charges on calls made from mobile phones by about 30 per cent to 14 paise per call from 20 paise earlier in its ‘Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Eleventh Amendment) Regulations’. Additionally, calls made from landline-to-landline or landline-to- mobiles will not include the interconnection charge, which was 20 paise earlier.

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