MAKE Interconnect Usage Charge ZERO

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Interconnect Usage Charge or IUC is a cost paid by one mobile telecom operator to another, when its customers make outgoing mobile calls to the other operator’s customers. These calls between two different networks are known as mobile off-net calls. IUC charges are fixed by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and are currently at 6 paise per minute.

TRAI, has repeatedly since 2011, affirmed its stance that the IUC charges should be brought down to Zero.

After a comprehensive review of the IUC regime through a transparent and elaborate consultation process in 2016, TRAI issued the Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Thirteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2017 (placed before the Parliament of India) that confirmed IUC for mobile calls will be ZERO from 1st January 2020.

Citing traffic asymmetry as the only ground in the recently floated consultation paper, TRAI has reopened the closed chapter on IUC, which has already been made zero with effect from 1st January 2020 by amendment to IUC Regulations.

The amendment to the IUC Regulations in 2017 was after considerable deliberations and consultations. In this background the consultation paper has created Regulatory uncertainty and therefore Jio has been compelled, most reluctantly and unavoidably, to recover this regulatory charge of 6 paise per minute for all off-net mobile voice calls so long as IUC charges exist.

Jio again assures its 35 crore customers that the 6paise per minute charge on outgoing off-net mobile calls shall continue only till the time TRAI abolishes IUC, in line with its present regulation.

We are hopeful that the IUC charge will be done away with as per the current regulation and that this temporary charge will come to an end by 31st December 2019 and consumers will not have to pay this charge thereafter.