New Players TRAI-ing hard. But IUC too juicy for COAI for cede.
Competition had helped consumers in India get the lowest possible rates for Telecom services in the world. However the existing major Cellular Operators, grouped under the (Cellular Operators Association of India) have also found themselves in a bind due to the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) ruling on penalty for call drops. The COAI has pleaded helplessness saying theirs was a Catch-22 situation between local municipal policies (affecting tower installations) and paucity of available airwaves at the lower end of the spectrum. Both these factors combined to increase call drops which seems to be very severe in several urban pockets.
In this call-dron already on the fire, we also see TRAI trying add a few changes to the menu which may be perceived by the COAI as serving the newer players’ tastes. The suggestion by TRAI on abolishing IUC charge (Inter-connect Usage Charge) has surely got the COAI’s goat. The IUC is typically received by the Operator on whose network, a call gets terminated. This immediately eliminates a source of revenue for the existing Operators, who may feel short-changed.
The COAI will surely not be coy about pushing this one back!