Indian mobile operators have petitioned the regulator to raise the termination rate of incoming international calls by at least a third.
Market leader Bharti Airtel and other cellcos have called telecom regulator Trai to raise the termination rate to at least 0.60 rupees ($0.013) per minute from the current rate of 0.40, Economic Times said.
The operators argue that the current rate is very low by international standards, while outgoing calls are charged with termination rates as high as 3-4 rupees a minute to some destinations, they told Trai.
“The termination charges levied by India on incoming international traffic are among the lowest in the world,” Bharti's CEO, Sanjay Kapoor, told ET.
“This has not only resulted in a lost opportunity to earn greater foreign exchange, but has also resulted in subsidized calling costs for international subscribers, who on the whole have a much higher paying capacity.”
This is not the first time operators have asked for a hike in the termination rate. Last year, state-owned BSNL asked Trai to increase it to up to 3 rupees a minute, claiming that this would increase industry revenues by up to $1 million.
Trai rejected the request but raised termination charges by a third to the current rate.
Indian operators carry roughly four times as many incoming international calls to India as outgoing calls.