[economic times] Telecom tribunal today directed sectoral regulator to work out "afresh" network interconnection and call termination charges in consultations with all service providers.
A telecom company pays Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) and Mobile Termination Charges (MTC) to other operators for connecting and completing its calls on their networks.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and (TDSAT) remanded the disputed regulation back to TRAI, in which private operators and government-controlled have opposed IUC and MTC fixed by the regulator.
The tribunal also directed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to complete the whole exercise in a time bound manner, so that the new regulation could be made effective from January 1, 2011.
"We direct TRAI to consider the matter afresh... remand the case to the TRAI with the direction that it will complete the consultation in time bound manner so that new IUC charges could be made effective by January 1, 2010," said TDSAT Chairman Justice S B Sinha in the order.
In its regulation on March 9, 2009, TRAI had reduced termination charges for all types of domestic calls such as landline to landline, landline to mobile, mobile to landline and mobile to mobile to 20 paise per minute from 30 paise per minute.
Termination charges are paid by an operator to another on whose network the call ends.
The tribunal also directed TRAI to provide adequate time to private telcom operators to respond during the consultation process.
TDSAT's order came over a bunch of petitions filed by telecom operators including Bharti Airtel , Vodafone, Idea, Reliance Communication and BSNL challenging the IUC fixed by TRAI.
BSNL had submitted that it was losing Rs 2,000 crore annually due to TRAI regulation on ICU.
The operators submitted that TRAI had formulated the IUC charges without consultation process.
TDSAT directs TRAI to rework telecom interconnect charges