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TRAI May Consider Scrapping Interconnection Fee

TRAI is planning a review of the charges that telcos pay each other for text messages, and possibly even consider discarding the charges. The regulator will be issuing a consultation paper to seek stakeholder views on revising the interconnection usage charge (IUC) for SMS. This may include the possibility of scrapping the interconnection fees altogether. The IUC for text messages is paid by a telecom operator to the network receiving the SMS. In a way, it is similar to the IUC for voice calls, which was lately reduced by 57 percent. Eliminating these charges can be considered for both commercial and non-commercial messages since present levels are already low.

However, TRAI is yet to make the final call regarding their decision. So far, the regulator has only been discussing the matter internally. The current interconnection charge is 5 paise per commercial text message and 2 paise per SMS for individual consumers.

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