Couple of months back, most of the mobile companies slashed their local and STD rates by as much as 40%, making STD calls rates at 1.50 paise per minute. India already has the cheapest call rates worldwide and I did not expect the rates to come down further, be it mobile or landline.
However, to everybody’s surprise TRAI has now decided to allow internet calls to be terminated on fixed and mobile networks and vice-versa, that will drastically bring down the call rates, especially International calls.
Just to give you the perspective of call rates in future – Expect calling your friend abroad for just Rupee 1 to 2 per minute nearly fraction of Rs. 7 per minute charged currently. STD call rates could come as low as 30 to 50 paise per minute… Imagine that ! You can Imagine what your local call charges would be !
Huge congratulations to TRAI for making such a move. It is one of the best move that will take Indian ICT to new levels !
The telecom regulator has thrown open the voice market to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), ushering in the promise of between 40% and 80% lower voice tariffs. With this, TRAI has — in a single stroke — destroyed some of the last regulatory barriers to advanced and cheaper technology.
And with ISPs set to hammer rates down to a new low, mobile service providers will be left with little choice but to follow suit.
Here are the salient features of the TRAI recommendations :
- ISPs have been permitted to provide unrestricted Internet telephony (Termination of Internet telephony calls on PSTN/PLMN and vice-versa).
- National Long Distance (NLD) operators shall be permitted to connect to ISPs through public Internet (Internet cloud) for unrestricted Internet telephony.
- ISPs and NLD shall have mutual agreement for unrestricted Internet telephony.
- NLD shall make suitable commercial and technical arrangements with access providers (PSTN/PLMN) for unrestricted Internet telephony.
- No change in existing IUC regime.
- TEC shall identify distinct number resources for Internet Telephony subscribers.
- Telephone numbers from identified blocks shall be allocated to ISPs, UASPs, BSOs & CMSPs for Internet telephony.
- Emergency number dialing is not mandated to ISPs.
- All ISPs interested to provide unrestricted Internet telephony shall install Lawful Interception equipment.
- Quality of service (QoS) for unrestricted telephony has not been mandated.
This has opened up Pandora’s box, I am sure we will see huge activity and discussions around this area in near future !