Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal Asks Trai to Reject Bill and Keep Regime

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal has reportedly asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to reject the ‘bill and keep’ (BAK) regime and continue to allow telcos to levy interconnect usage charge (IUC) as per global practice, and said that the free/affordable phone calls customers are enjoying prove that IUC does not come in the way of affordable rates, adding that charges levied by a telco on incoming calls landing on its network have no relation with the tariff.

Sunil Mittal
Sunil Mittal

Notably, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications, Aircel and MTNL have demanded to scrap of the IUC regime and moving to the Bill and Keep (BAK) regime. Under the BAK regime, incoming calls landing charges are not levied or paid as they are supposed to cancel out. However, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular had sought to double of MTC, part of IUC, saying termination of incoming calls on their networks costs 30-35 paise per minute.

The regulator had issued a consultation paper on the levy almost a year ago and will soon give its recommendations.

Mittal, in his letter, said that IUC has ensured investments in networks continued.He said that the current IUC at 14 paise is already well below cost and “it will be in the fitness of things that while taking a final decision, the Authority upholds the principle of compensation of work done by each operator and the IUC is sat costs discovered through a fair and transparent mechanism.”

“While a debate, based on both information and misinformation is taking centre stage, I feel it necessary to add my views in the hope for a fair and reasonable outcome of the current IUC process…In the current debate going on in India on IUC, what surprises me the most is that no one has even talked about IUC for international calls settlement… The TRAI not even debating this issue, therefore, confirms the authority’s acceptance to the principle that IUC is indeed a settled global practice built on fair and equitable settlements for work done by each operator for carrying each other’s calls,” said Mittal.

He said that Indian telcos are required to pay approximately 1 cent for every call that originate from their network and terminate on that of foreign operators.

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RaviSanjit Roy, Thakurnagar, wbKaushikKunalSouvik Recent comment authors
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Still prefer Reliance GSM for giving ONE INDIA ONE RATE far before Jio. Thank you RCom…..AVOID brushed off rcom as it couldn’t compete but they should have known Jio will push the boundaries that RCom couldn’t….. Now caught with pants down and no way to go.



Sanjit Roy, Thakurnagar, wb
Sanjit Roy, Thakurnagar, wb

Mr. Mittal is only available for lectures but his employees are not available to resolve our complaints, for example for the past few months airtel users are unable to connect landlines of andaman&nicobar and the std code is 03192 , still airtel users are only listening plz check the number whenever they try to call those landlines, but at the same time vodafone, idea, jio even mts users are able connect those landlines at first attempts from mainland india. Airtel users have raised complaints repeatedly but as usual it got closed without resolving it. The most important part is from… Read more »


I can’t call a mumbai landline with my airtel number. Ticket has been open for 30 days with no resolution…..

Sanjit Roy, Thakurnagar, wb
Sanjit Roy, Thakurnagar, wb

Your issue will never get resolved and airtel’s appellate authority will end by saying that issue belongs to that operator not from us despite that you are receiving incoming calls to your airtel number even you are able to connect it from other operators, during early 2013 once I have heard from a ex RF team employee of bharti airtel’s msp that airtel having lack of coordination between department to department, but during 2013 airtel was one of the best network across Bengal circle, so I took him lightly, now I think he was absolutely right.

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