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Implement zero mobile termination charge from 2020, open house urges TRAI

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Participants of an open house discussion on Friday unanimously urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) to implement zero mobile termination charge from January 1, 2020.

The discussion was held on Interconnected User Charge (IUC) levied by TRAI here.

Speaking to media after the event, TRAI chairman RS Sharma said the regulator will come up with its decision on the IUC "as soon as possible".

Sharma said that the TRAI has not received any reference from the department of telecommunications for setting floor prices for data and voice tariffs. "We have not got any reference," Sharma said.

During the open house Reliance Jio said that delaying the implementation of zero call connect charges beyond January 2020 will hurt affordability of telecom services in a sector where users have benefited from free voice calls.

Reliance Jio Director Mahendra Nahata said that the ratio of incoming and outgoing call is now at par with each other and traffic asymmetry can, therefore, no longer be the reason to delay implementation of Bill and Keep (BAK) regime (that is zero mobile termination charge from January 1, 2020) Traffic symmetry indicates that telecom operator will not have any outstanding balance of IUC against other networks.

Airtel said that IUC should not come down to zero and the BAK regime should be postponed by at least three years.

Speaking to ANI, Consumer Guidance Society founder Bejon Mishra said the participants tried to make a case for building a level playing field and to "ensure that IUC is abolished. "They have been promising us form 2014 and we hope we will hear this good news in new year," he said.

SD Saxena, a telecom industry expert, said: "Except the two operators Vodafone and Airtel, the whole house was of the opinion that IUC must be removed."

Bacchan, who runs an NGO of 200 girls whose main earning model is to call the consumers and tell about their product, came from Amritsar to participate and raise their voice for termination of IUC.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, November 15 2019. 21:00 IST
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