Mobile tariffs may fall after fee review
Mobile phone users might have another reason to smile. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to review termination charges, a major component of telecom bills.
The charges are paid by the operator, from whose network the call is made, to the operator on whose network the call terminates.
The DoT has asked Trai to review these charges on a priority basis so that consumers benefit at the earliest. "Given that the central aim of the telecom policy is to provide services at affordable rates, it is suggested that a review of mobile termination charges, based on present and projected costs and traffic, be undertaken by Trai in a time-bound manner," the DoT said in a letter to the regulator.
In 2003, Trai had recommended a termination charge of 30 paise per minute. However, the DoT has now reasoned that growth in the number of users, rise in the minutes per usage and declining tariffs will bring operators ample sources of revenue.
The termination charge is a function of traffic and such high increase in traffic must translate into reduction in such charges, the DoT said in the letter.
Sources in the DoT said Trai fixed same charges for both fixed and mobile services despite the fact that the cost per fixed line is much more than for mobile services.
It has been estimated that the termination charges could be to the tune of 10 paise per minute.
Analysts say existing operators may not be severely affected by the cut. "The existing companies have already found ways to move beyond their investments in termination charges. But this will definitely help the new players entering the market," said an analyst.
6 months ago