International call rates might fall soon if TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) efforts bear fruit. According to a report by The Mobile Indian, TRAI is observing the current charges levied by ILDOs (International Long Distance Operators) and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to CLSs (Cable Landing Stations) in India for international voice and data traffic communication.
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The landing stations use undersea cables to connect India to the rest of the world and hence charge the calls that come from or to India. International cable-based syndicates like SMW4, SMW3, TIC and Falcon provide the necessary bandwidth to the Indian service providers like Tata, Reliance communication, Bharti and BSNL which manage the cable landing stations. Now, TRAI is planning to review the current call charges and bring the ISD call tariff to the same level that other Asian countries provide. This change is expected to occur in the next two months. Any reduction in landing charges will indeed bring down the tariffs by a major margin, which will definitely be beneficial for those using their mobile phones frequently to make international calls.
In the current scenario, ISD rates for USA, Canada, UK and Gulf are as low as Rs. 3 per minute; charges to other countries remain extremely high (call charges to Nepal – our neighbouring country are currently Rs. 9). It’s interesting to see that if TRAI does indeed succeed in its endeavours, then by what ratio are the call charges dropped.