Telecom regulatory authority of India has yesterday issued the proposed revision of the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 for comments of the stakeholders. This is the planned amendment to the tariff order governing the maximum rate that the operators can charge the subscribers during roaming outside their home circle.
TRAI has proposed the maximum outgoing charge for local calls while in roaming be reduced to 65p from the existing 1Re, Reduction of outgoing STD call while in roaming be reduced to 1Re instead of the current Rs 1.5. Maximum charge for incoming calls be reduced to 45p instead of current 75p. Outgoing local SMS charge is proposed to be reduced to 20p from the current 1Re and outgoing STD SMS be reduced to 25p from existing 1.5Rs. These changes to the tariff order will be finalised by TRAI after due consultation with the stakeholders who have been sent the draft and asked for inputs.
This is one of the many steps that TRAI has been taking lately to regularise the market tariff structure and create an even playing field for both the incumbents as well as the new players. Earlier we reported how TRAI has revised the interconnect charges that operators pay each other as call termination charges, which was later challenged in Supreme court by Vodafone. Also TRAI has reduced the ceiling tariff for call carriage by National long distance operators for reducing STD calling tariffs. The current revision has the potential for making roaming significantly cheaper without the need for subscribing to roaming STV’s. Roaming contributes to only 8% of an operator’s gross income and thus TRAI believes it should not significantly harm the operator’s profit margin but Mr. Rajan Mathews, Director General of COAI didn’t seem too happy with this proposal.
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