TRAI: Telecom Regulator Authority of India
- TRAI is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.
- TRAI was established in 1997 by an Act of Parliament (a statutory body) to regulate telecom services & tariffs in India.
- Earlier regulation of telecom services & tariffs was overseen by the Central Government.
- TRAI’s mission is to create & nurture conditions for the growth of telecommunications in India to enable the country to have a leading role in the emerging global information society.
- One of its main objectives is to provide a fair & transparent environment that promotes a level playing field & facilitates fair competition in the market.
- TRAI regularly issues orders & directions on various subjects such as tariffs, interconnections, quality of service, Direct to Home (DTH) services & mobile number portability.
Interconnection Usage Charge (IUC)
- Context: Telecom operators not to pay interconnect usage charge from 1st January.
- IUC is a charge payable by a service provider, whose subscriber originates the call, to the service provider in whose network the call terminates.
- This is paid to cover the network usage costs as the operator, on whose network the call terminates, carries the call on its network to the customers.
- IUC is one of the main sources of income for telecom companies.
- In a calling-party pays regime (CPP), if you originate a call, you pay your access provider, who in turn pays termination charges to the network you placed the call.
- The term ‘interconnection’ refers to an arrangement under which telecom players connect their equipment, networks, & services with other Telecom Services Providers.
- TRAI regulates the IUC & addresses the various issues related to interconnection arrangements.
- IUC ensures operators make appropriate investments to carry voice calls without terminations.