Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has introduced a few changes to the way fixed-line networks and national long distance (NLD) networks work. The new rules are aimed at making interconnectivity easier between two fixed-line networks or between fixed-line networks and national long-distance networks. According to an industry observer, these new rules from Trai will bring convenience and clarity for fixed-line operators. Along with this, it will also focus on the areas such as the closure of interconnect points in case of service discontinuation in a short distance charging area.
Mutual Agreement Necessary for the Network Lines
Explaining the newly introduced amendments, Trai said that in one service area, the location of points of interconnect for a call between any fixed-line network and national long-distance network or two fixed-line networks will be set at a place which is mutually agreed by the interconnection seeker and provider.
For the unaware, the term ‘interconnection’ means technical and commercial arrangements in which the telecom operators connect their network, equipment, and services so that their customers can gain access to subscribers of other operator’s network.
But there can be a situation where the two parties don’t come to a mutual agreement. In such a case, the location of the point of interconnect will change to Long Distance Charging Centre (LDCC). Trai further added, “In such a case, the carriage charge for carriage of calls from LDCC to SDCC (Short Distance Charging Centres) and vice versa, as applicable, shall be paid by the interconnection seeker to the interconnection provider.”
As for the existing call connect points between the fixed-line network and national long-distance network or two fixed-line networks, they can remain operational for a minimum of five years unless the network operators mutually decide that they want to close the points, then it will be closed.
Trai said, “The existing PoI at the SDCC level, for calls between PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and PSTN or between PSTN and NLD network can be closed if the services of either of the interconnected service providers are discontinued in that SDCA(Short-Distance Charging Area).”
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