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TRAI disallows additional revenue share for roaming calls

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Sep 11 (UNI) The Telecom Regulator TRAI today disallowed for the operators additional revenue share on roaming calls-- both national and international.

In its analysis and decision on Admissibility of Revenue share between Visiting Network and Terminating Network for Roaming Calls, TRAI said as per the prevailing Internet Usage Charge (IUC) Regulation, uniform termination charge at Rs 0.30 per minute is applicable for all types of calls.

The prescribed termination charge is cost based, independent of the network from where the call is originating/terminating and also independent of the tariff charged by the operators.

One of the operators with significant market share conveyed its scheme for additional revenue share, over and above the prescribed termination charge for terminating the roaming calls in its network, TRAI said.

It also sought commercial agreement with other operators on reciprocal basis. To deliberate upon the issue in a consultative manner, following its established practice, TRAI undertook a comprehensive consultation process.

In the Consultation Paper the main issue raised was that in case of roaming calls whether terminating network service provider should get a revenue share from the visiting network service provider or it should get only the termination charges as prescribed by the Regulator.

Having considered the opinion of various stakeholders contained in their written submissions, the views expressed by them in the Open House Discussion held at New Delhi on July 17, 2006 and other relevant facts, TRAI reiterated that there is no justification for a revenue sharing arrangement among operators in respect of roaming calls (national and international).

TRAI also reconfirmed its earlier decision that the terminating operator should get only the termination charge as prescribed in the IUC Regulation.

The Regulator has observed that in case the termination charge is allowed to be linked with the tariff and any additional amount over and above the presently specified termination charge is permitted for roaming calls there is a likelihood of this leading to higher roaming tariff to the consumers. TRAI has also noted that the goal is to achieve seamless national roaming without any extra burden on the consumers. Prescribing any additional amount for terminating such calls may defeat this objective.

This issue has been specifically visited by the present consultation paper, it will be just and fair to make the decision effective from date of the order. TRAI has sought compliance of the decision from all the service providers latest by October 10.

Also, concerned about the high roaming tariff by some of the operators, TRAI has indicated that it may consider issuing a consultation paper to review the present roaming tariff regime, in the near future.

UNI/RT PV HT1404

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