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International calls to India set to rise?

When calls are made across national boundaries, one telecom operator charges another for terminating calls on its network – be it fixed or mobile.

For example, a customer of T-Mobile in the US wishes to call a Vodafone number in India. T-Mobile will charge the customer a fee per minute (the retail charge) for this call. Vodafone will charge T-Mobile a fee for terminating the call on its network. This termination rate, therefore, forms part of T-Mobile‘s cost of providing the call.

Termination rates may be commercially negotiated or regulated. In India, these rates are regulated by Trai. Currently, any international incoming call to India is charged at a flat 40 paise per minute to terminate by service providers here. Indian operators have demanded an increase in these rates to a minimum 60 paise.

This is because Indian customers, on making international calls, are charged at very high termination rates by the international ser-vice providers. It makes up for nearly 50% of the total call charges.

An increase in termination charges by Indian telecom companies will result in a marginal hike in cost of calls made to India. How-ever, it is expected to boost revenues for Indian companies, as the incoming call traffic to India is nearly four times higher than outgoing traffic.

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