Rejoice! Mobile & Landline Tariffs To Fall Soon
It is a known fact that India has one of the lowest, if not the lowest mobile call rates in the world. Now, it seems these rates are going to fall even further. And, it is not just the mobile tariffs, but even landline rates are expected to fall by as much as 20 percent or even more!
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday took the decision to remove the network interconnection charges for fixed line telephones completely and for mobile calls, the rates have been reduced by as much 30 percent, bringing it down from 20 paise per minute to about 14 paise per minute.
Till now network interconnection charges were fixed and were charged to telecom service providers, who in-turn included it in mobile and landline tariffs for the consumers.
If you are not aware, Interconnection charges are charges that telecom service provider has to pay to other service provider for transmitting customer’s phone call. So for example, if you are on BSNL and are making a call to an Idea cellular phone, BSNL had to pay 20 paise per minute per call to Idea!
Now that these charges are set to go (or reduced for mobile calls), the overall tariffs are expected to fall by as much as 20 percent.
International incoming Call rates may rise slightly
While national fixed and mobile call rates will come down, international calls may see marginal jump. TRAI in their announcement have stated that termination charges for international incoming calls has been increased from existing 40 paise per minute to 53 paise per minute. There will be no effect for outgoing international calls as the call gets terminated on the carrier outside India.
How much will local rates come down?
The telecom carriers are expected to pass on all the benefit to consumers due to removal of FTC (Fixed Termination charges) and reduction of MTC (Mobile Termination Charges).
When you make an outgoing call from a landline, either to another landline or a mobile network, the rates may come down as much as 20 percent or more depending on the call rates. For example, if a call costs you Rupee one per minute, it will now come down to 80 paise per minute.
On the other hand, if it is a call from a mobile network to another mobile network, the rate may come down to about 94 paise per minute.
TRAI has removed the FTC completely for simple reason that Wireline connections have been steadily falling for past 4-5 years. With FTC being removed completely, the fixed calls will get much cheaper and operators like BSNL and others can now easily provide some innovative bulk plans that will allow for large number of outgoing calls for fixed monthly rate. Many business users will find this very useful and wireline subscribers may see a uptick due this.
The reduced rates are expected to come to effect in about couple of months by April