Reliance Jio has announced that it will start charging Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) to its users, which is paid by one mobile telecom operator to another. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the current IUC is priced at six paise per minute.
The company will charge its users IUC till January 1 next year. After which TRAI will drop the fees to zero. The company will sell different vouchers to its customers which are priced at Rs 10 for 124 minutes, Rs 20 for 249 minutes, Rs 50 for 656 minutes, Rs 100 for 1,362 minutes. The company has also stated that to reimburse the customers it will provide them with additional data of 1GB on Rs 10, 2GB on Rs 20, 5GB on Rs 50 and 10GB on Rs 100 recharge. For postpaid customers, it will charge six paise per minute in their bill.
All calls made to Jio customers, incoming calls, landline calls and VoIP calls will not face the IUC charge.
The company states, it had to take this step due to it paying huge amounts of IUC to networks, which are charging exorbitant amounts to its 2G customers. Who are then giving missed calls only. This causes Jio customers to call them back thus costing the network loss of around 65 to 75 crore minutes of incoming traffic.
After this Airtel responded stating that, one of its competitors, hinting at Reliance Jio has imposed a rate of 6 paise for all off net calls made to other operators to cover the termination charge of IUC. The company states that this charge is being levied to force IUC to be brought down despite the heavy burden it puts on the receiving network.
Though at the same time it states that it is “grateful for this very timely consultation paper to reassess IUC has been issued By TRAI.” It also states that TRAI while making the decision to terminate IUC made it on two assumptions: first being the adoption of VoLTE and second was the growth of smaller sized operators. Both of which it claims have not materialised.