The roll-out plans of new mobile players could be dampened with some of the existing pan-Indian operators demanding higher rates for providing interconnection.
This includes higher termination rates (levied for ending calls from a new operator’s subscriber to an incumbent player’s network) and port charges (for accepting traffic from a new player to an existing network).
Incumbent operators such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are at an advantageous position because they have a large subscriber base and, therefore, it is necessary for the new players to interconnect. If the new operators do not interconnect with them then their subscribers will not be able to call users on the incumbent player’s network.
“The interconnection charges being imposed by the existing players are based on the telecom regulator’s order issued in 2003. Since then the costs have come down drastically. However, the existing players want to continue with the current charges because it benefits them,” said an executive of a new telecom company.
Read the full story in ‘The Hindu Business Line’ here.