According to Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio’s decision to recover interconnect user charge (IUC) money by charging customers has been taken in haste and was diverting attention from the real issue at hand, which is sector’s poor health.
Recently Reliance Jio announced that it will now charge its customers six paise per minute for making calls to subscribers of other mobile operators. Prior to this, the operator was offering all voice calls at zero charges.
Vodafone Idea is also pointed out that Jio’s decision follows right after it reduced outgoing ring time, which again hurt incumbents.
IUC is a charge paid to the telco on whose network a call terminates and has been a bone of contention among the private players and the sector regulator. Two years ago, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), had brought it down from 14 paise per minute to 6 paise per minute and decided to scrap the charge from January 2020. This has led to a legal tussle between the regulator and the incumbents since IUC is a revenue generator and any reduction would lead to loss in that net revenue.