New Delhi: The telecom industry is divided into two camps -- existing operators vs new players - on interconnection charges, in particular termination rates, with the former gunning for the maximum level possible while the latter doing away with it.
At present mobile operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular charge 30 paise a minute from an operator on whose network the call ends.
“Removing Mobile Termination Charge would make calls made from (the new players’) network and terminating on (another’s) on a par (with) established GSM operators,” a telecom player said.
Telecom regulator Trai is in the process of holding consultations with the industry, and ahead of open house discussion next week the new GSM players have urged that termination charges either be done away with or kept below 10 paise a minute to compete with the existing players.
According to new players like Datacom, Unitech, Swan Telecom, Shyam, Loop and Reliance Communications, they would be able to cut mobile tariffs by at least 50% or more if termination charges are set below 10 paise a minute.
However, the existing operators have said that any drastic cut in charges would affect their rollout plans in the rural areas as this would reduce revenue.