You might see a hike in your mobile phone bills in the future. According to a report by PTI, telecom giants Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone have proposed to increase the Interconnection Usage Charge (IUC). As per the report, Airtel and Idea have sought to double the IUC, stating that incoming calls to their network cost 30 paise per minute to complete, while Vodafone projected the cost at 34 paise. By comparison, an IUC of 14 paise is levied on incoming calls at present.
IUC is the charge levied by telecom operators for every incoming calls from networks of other operators and is included in the call rates paid by mobile subscribers. This amount has been fixed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). As per the report, Vodafone says that the cost of carrying incoming calls on its network is 30 paise without taking into account the licence fee and 34 paise after adding it. Idea notes that the cost of carrying incoming calls on its network is about 30 paise and that it is unable to recover basic costs at present IUC rates. Idea has also demanded that these rates be raised so that telecom operators are able to recover its basic costs at present IUC rates.
Users are already bracing for an increased mobile bill following the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST). The new system was implemented this month and is set to increase service tax imposed on telecom operators by 15 percent to 18 percent. So if a user has been paying a phone bill of Rs 1,000, the implementation of GST will see their bills rise by Rs 30 .