Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is trying to reduce the ISD call rates for calls originating from both, mobile and landlines phones. It is making this possible by fixing the access charges paid by long distance operators to the local telecom companies.
The new access charges fixed by TRAI are 40p/min and Rs. 1.2/min for wireless and wired phones. These charges are paid by International Long Distance Operators (ILDO) to local operators for making an ISD call. So, if the charge is fixed, then the local operators wouldn’t be able to set ridiculous call rates for ISD calling.
As per this new TRAI regulation, the consumers from now onwards will be able to buy calling cards from any ILDO of their choice. This will entitle them to reduced call rates as a result of competition among the long distance players, and thus will reduce the call rate even further.
TRAI has been trying to give the consumers the options to choose their National Long Distance Operator (NLDO) and ILDO since July, 2002, but this direction couldn’t be implemented due to various excuses given by telecom service providers (TSPs).
This has been delayed mainly by TSPs, as their revenue will plummet once this directive comes into effect.
According to TRAI, “Some access providers offered unrealistic access charges to ILDOs making the entire process non-starter”.
As of now, STD services are provided by 34 NLDOs, whereas 27 ILDOs are in charge for facilitating ISD calls.
In order to make calls using NLD and ILD operators, the users will only have to dial some certain prefix code from their phones.
There is no word on how much effect this TRAI regulation will have on the ISD calling rate. So let’s wait and watch.