According to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the decision of the Telecom Regulatory Authority India (TRAI) to amend fixed international termination charges from 30 paise to a forbearance regime would help international long-distance operators (ILDOs) in adjusting their charges accordingly and regain parity with global counterparts.

In its recent regulations, TRAI informed that international call termination charges would be subject to forbearance but within the specified range of 35 paise to 65 paise per minute against a fixed rate of 30 paise per minute earlier.

Commenting on the development, Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said, “We welcome this step by the regulator to revise the fixed international termination charge from 30 paise to a forbearance regime within a prescribed range of 35 paise to 65 paise per minute. In our response to the consultation paper, we had submitted that in order to protect the interest of Indian telecom operators, the regulator should prescribe a higher rate of ILD termination charge to ensure parity with other countries that terminate calls to India. With this revision, ILDOs are expected to adjust their charges accordingly and regain parity with international countries. This is certainly a step in the right direction and will ensure the country does not lose precious forex in paying higher international termination rates to other countries. The Indian telecom sector needs more such measures to ensure robust telecom infrastructure and financial health.”

TRAI has given a range with floor and a ceiling, and left it to operators to set the rate under a forbearance regime. However, the sector regulator also mandated that operators will offer non-discriminatory rate for such termination charges to everyone. The regulator further added that the implementation of the regime will be closely monitored, including the trends and patterns of ILD voice traffic in the country.