TRAI cuts rate for in­ter­net­work calls

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

The tele­com reg­u­la­tor made rad­i­cal changes to the in­dus­try’s tar­iff struc­ture, slash­ing by 30 per cent the amount that mo­bile op­er­a­tors pay to each other for calls made from one net­work to an­other and scrap­ping sim­i­lar charges for wire­line op­er­a­tors. Now, calls made from land­line to land­line or land­line to mo­biles will not in­clude the in­ter­con­nec­tion us­age charge (IUC), which was 20 paise. A mo­bile phone op­er­a­tor will now need to pay 14 paise a minute for each call ter­mi­nat­ing on a ri­val's net­work. IUC makes up about 20 per cent of mo­bile call tar­iff that a user pays.

“To pro­mote in­vest­ment in, and adop­tion of, wire­line net­works, so that they may be­come an ef­fec­tive ve­hi­cle for the de­liv­ery of high-speed In­ter­net in the coun­try, the Author­ity has de­cided to pre­scribe FTC (fixed ter­mi­na­tion) as well as MTC (mo­bile ter­mi­na­tion charge) for wire­line to wire­less calls as zero,” TRAI said.

Bharti Air­tel, Voda­fone In­dia and Idea Cel­lu­lar, which hold over 70 per cent of the mar­ket share, have the max­i­mum calls em­a­nat­ing and end­ing on their net­works. The rest is made up of smaller op­er­a­tors such as Uninor, Air­cel, Tata Te­le­ser­vices and Video­con, whose call rates are typ­i­cally much lower than the big three.

IUC, which has his­tor­i­cally been re­vised ev­ery two to three years, was last amended in 2009 and the mat­ter has been pending in apex court. "As a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time has lapsed since the last re­view, the Author­ity ini­ti­ated this re­view of IUC regime in Novem­ber 2014," TRAI said.

TRAI in­creased in­ter­con­nect charges for in­ter­na­tional calls ter­mi­nat­ing on a lo­cal net­work to 53 paise from 40 paise ear­lier. Th­ese are charges for­eign op­er­a­tors need to pay to lo­cal play­ers. As a re­sult, cost of mak­ing an over­seas call from In­dia would be com­pa­ra­ble with in­ter­na­tional calls ter­mi­nat­ing in the coun­try, which could en­cour­age more out­bound calls.

Land­line con­nec­tions have been de­clin­ing since in­com­ing calls on mo­biles were made free. While the mo­bile sub­scriber base at the end of 2014 reached an all-time high at 94.39 crore, land­line con­nec­tions were only 2.7 crore.

Con­sumer court pe­nal­izes two col­leges in In­dore

The In­dore dis­trict con­sumer dis­putes re­dres­sal fo­rum has di­rected two col­leges to com­pen­sate for fi­nan­cial lapses.

Si­mant Shrimal, 21, of Se­hore took ad­mis­sion in In­dore Indira Busi­ness School on 24 May 2013 for PGDM/MBA course, for which he de­posited Rs 30,000 ad­mis­sion fee. Col­lege of­fi­cials later de­nied ad­mis­sion with a prom­ise to re­turn the fee by Septem­ber 2013. How­ever, Si­mant did not re­ceive money till De­cem­ber 2013. Even his fa­ther Anil Shrimal's plea fell on deaf ears. Si­mant then moved the fo­rum ask­ing the col­lege to re­turn the de­posited fee with eight per cent in­ter­est, along with Rs 20,000 for men­tal ha­rass­ment and Rs 10,000 spent on legal ex­penses. All the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments and fee re­ceipts were pro­duced, fol­low­ing which the con­sumer fo­rum is­sued sev­eral no­tices to the re­spon­dents. There was no re­ply, though. The fo­rum then di­rected the col­lege to re­turn the ad­mis­sion fee with ad­di­tional Rs 3,000 and Rs 1,000 for men­tal ha­rass­ment and legal ex­penses, re­spec­tively.

Sim­i­larly, Su­mit Chauhan of Betma took ad­mis­sion in Ja­gadguru Dat­ta­tray Col­lege of Tech­nol­ogy (LNCT Group), In­dore, in July 2013 and paid Rs 20,000 along with the mark­sheet of class X and domi­cile cer­tifi­cate. Be­cause of some rea­son, Su­mit had to cancel his ad­mis­sion and re­quested the col­lege to re­turn the money. The col­lege of­fi­cial in re­ply told him to pay Rs 60,000 for can­cel­la­tion of ad­mis­sion and re­fused to re­turn the money. Su­mit then moved the court. When the re­spon­dents did not re­ply to sev­eral no­tices by the fo­rum, it di­rected the col­lege to re­turn Rs 20,000 with 8 per cent in­ter­est within three month. A fine of Rs 3,000 was slapped for men­tal ha­rass­ment and lit­i­ga­tion ex­penses.

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