Dissuade TRAI Chief from making Mobile to Mobile (M2M) off-net voice calls expensive.

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The telecom consumers were anxiously waiting for January 1, 2020. Because two years back (2017), Trai had issued orders that December 31, 2019 will be the last date for Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) regime. Thereafter, it was to be Bill And Keep (BAK) regime. From New Year 2020, a mobile operator-A will not demand for IUC if it gets incoming voice calls from another mobile operator-B. All operators must say, “Suswagatam”, for all M2M off-net incoming voice calls. This would have made calls cheaper even for people who are not on 4G networks.

“Suswagatam” is a traditional Indian invocation for welcoming visitors since time immemorial.

Presently, IUC is 6 paisa/minute for off-net M2M voice calls. Since, for all other type of calls, the IUC is “zero”, this levy is also called as MTC (Mobile Termination Charge) in the present context.

IUC is “zero” for voice calls received through social media Apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram etc. IUC is also “zero” for every other types of calls – Fixed to Fixed (F2F), Fixed to Mobile (F2M), and Mobile to Fixed (M2F).

So why Trai wants to keep a special window opened for MTC. The incumbents (Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea) are the major beneficiaries of this MTC levy. The benefit is to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees at the cost of exchequer.

MTC’s expiry date as April 1, 2014 was first fixed in 2011 by the then Trai Chief late Mr J.S. Sarma. However, after his tenure ended, an anti-consumer Trai Chief Rahul Khullar, continued this levy. But, his successor Ram Sewak Sharma in 2017 fixed its expiry date as December 31, 2019. But, shockingly, the same Trai Chief, now wants to continue MTC levy on flimsy grounds. He has now issued a consultation paper with a view to defer the scraping of this old & outdated rules of MTC, the 3rd time. We thought he is bold enough to stick to his stand to scrap it. But, he too seems to have surrendered to pressure groups.

But, let us build public pressure on Trai Chief to burry this anti-consumer and anti-competition MTC levy for all times to come immediately. If you agree, please sign this petition and also mobilize others to sign it as well.