India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, Chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal has urged telecom regulator TRAI to set call connect charges at cost through a fair and transparent mechanism.
Mittal has written a letter to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India( TRAI), Chairman, RS Sharma in which he said that the current Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) at 14 paise is already "well below cost".
"...and it will be in fitness of things that while taking a final decision, the Authority upholds the principle of compensation of work done by each operator and the IUC is set at costs discovered through a fair and transparent mechanism," he added.
Mittal also said that IUC has no relation to customer tariff and customers are enjoying free or affordable calls is a testimony that the current IUC regime is not coming in the way of affordable tariffs.
Interconnection charges are paid by one telecom company to another for using the latter's network to complete calls.
The IUC has been the bone of contention between incumbents telcos and Reliance Jio.
To recall Incumbents have also demanded to increase the IUC rates to 28- 35 paise per minute from the present level of 14 paise a minute.
In fact telcos such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone also said that telecom infrastructure in rural areas largely depends on revenue from incoming calls and lowering or removal of such charges will hamper services.