A year ago on December 18, 2019, the Trai decided to defer the introduction of zero IUC regime to January 2021. Back then, the move was opposed by Reliance Jio and welcomed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. Since then, there's no update from the Trai or telecom operators on IUC (Interconnect Usage Charges). Thanks to the postponement of zero IUC regime, Reliance Jio is charging its customers six paise per minute for non-Jio calls, and also has a FUP limit on every unlimited combo plan. Now, the biggest question is: will the zero IUC regime come into effect on January 1, 2021? Well, we believe it will become effective since there's no update from Trai on postponing once again.
Zero IUC Regime: What You Need to Know?
For the unaware, IUC or Interconnect Usage Charges is a cost paid by one telecom operator to another when its customer makes outgoing calls to the other operator's customers. In other words, these calls are also known as 'off-net calls.' The current Interconnect Usage Charges are set at six paise per minute by Trai, and on January 1, 2021, the IUC will become zero.
Reliance Jio is pushing for the zero IUC regime because it operates on a complete LTE network, whereas Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel are GSM operators. Since all the telcos now have VoLTE service across the country, we believe they will not oppose the implementation of zero IUC regime.
Is Zero IUC Regime a Good News for Reliance Jio Customers?
Absolutely, yes. As noted, Reliance Jio is charging six paise per minute from its customers for non-Jio or off-net voice calls. The company's unlimited combo plans offer unlimited Jio to Jio voice calling, however, when it comes to Jio to non-Jio numbers, the voice calls will be capped at 1,000 or 3,000 or 12,000 minutes depending on the plan you choose. While the telco decided to charge customers for off-net calls, it gives them back a 1GB of data voucher for free on every Rs 10 spent by the users for making off-net calls.
The implementation of zero IUC regime means Jio customers will no longer have to worry about the FUP limit for non-Jio numbers. Once the new regime comes into effect, Jio will remove the FUP limit on its unlimited combo plans.
What do you think about the zero IUC regime by Trai? Will it be implemented on January 1, 2021? Let's talk in the comments section below.