Mumbai, NFAPost: Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced that Voice calls to rival networks within India will be free from 1 January. This step was taken by the company after the telecom regulator has mandated that telcos will not have to pay so-called termination charges to rival networks starting 1 January. The termination fee was set at 6 paise per minute till 31 December by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
“For context, in September 2019, as per directions of the TRAI, the bill-and-keep regime is being implemented in the country from 1 January, ending IUC (interconnection usage charge) for all domestic voice calls,” said Reliance Industries, the parent of Jio, in a stock exchange filing.
Under the bill-and-keep regime, telecom operators do not have to pay termination charges to each other. Jio said that it was forced to charge its customers for off-network voice calls at a rate equivalent to the applicable IUC due to TRAI deferred the implementation of zero IUC regime by a year till 31 December 2020.
“While doing so, Jio had assured its users that this charge would continue only till the time TRAI abolished IUC. Today, Jio has delivered on that promise and made off-net voice calls free again,” RIL said in the statement.