TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has come up with a new rule which is expected to bring down international call rates and stimulate competition among telecom providers in India. TRAI has permitted telephone users to use calling cards issued by operators other than their current operator.
For instance Airtel users will be able to make calls to Middle East, US or UK using calling cards from Reliance. This move will hugely impact Vodafone subscribers who were until now been able to make ISD calls using Airtel’s network alone.
The new system will bring in major foreign players like BT, AT&T and Orange into the scene. These foreign operators will now be able to sell their calling cards to retail and enterprise users in India. This will be a huge booster to such companies which are currently offering data services only to large corporations.
TRAI has already issued a direction to all operators telling them to open up their access networks to give more control to the user when it comes to choosing of calling cards. Experts suggest that this new move will make way to a price war between the operators. Tariffs have remained flat for a long period of time now. Customers are also expected to get a more dynamic offering of prices on international lines.
TRAI is also considering various alterations in long distance calling segment including methods to promote competition in the cable landing station segment. Most of the landing stations are currently controlled by Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications.