TRAI issues regulations on international calling card services

TRAI's latest directive paves way for cheaper international calling in the near future.

Published Date
20 - Aug - 2014
| Last Updated
20 - Aug - 2014
 
TRAI issues regulations on international calling card services

The telecom regulatory body, TRAI, has fixed the rate payable by the International Long Distance Operators (ILDO) to the local service providers. As per the TRAI regulation, the ILDOs will pay 40 paisa per minute for wireless services and Rs.1.20 per minute for wireline services. It's notable the international players pay an access charge to the local service providers for International Subscriber Dialling (ISDs).

Under the International Calling Card Services (Access Charges) Regulations, 2014, “Every International Long Distance Operator, who intends to provide international long distance voice service through Calling Card, shall request, in writing, all the Access Service Providers to enter into interconnection agreements in accordance with the provision of the regulations made by the Authority and the terms and conditions of its licence agreement.”

“Provided that in case of those Access Service Providers who start access service after the  commencement of these regulations,the International Long Distance Operator shall enter into interconnection agreement with such Access Service Provider within sixty days of the start of the access service by the Access Service Provider.”

Another important announcement the TRAI has made is that now customers can buy calling cards from any international long distance operators – a move that is likely to bring a competition in the segment, ultimately benefiting the end users.

The regulatory body had been trying to bring in more options for users for ISD callings. However, the regulator claims, dodged the introduction of competition. To provide the facility to subscribers to choose their NLDO/ILDO for their STD/ISD calls, TRAI issued a direction on 24th July 2002. The direction could not be implemented due to various reasons given by the service providers.