The Hush Post| 8:26 pm|two-minute-read|
The telecom industry is possibly gearing up for next big shake-up. And this would have a bearing on the telecom tariffs that mobile users in India pay. Relaince Jio has announced that they will now charge the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) from its subscribers for calls they make to other mobile networks, such as Airtel, Vodafone-Idea or BSNL.
Jio says they will be charging Rs 0.06 per minute as the charge for calls made from a Jio connection to other networks.
Reliance Jio also clarifies that the 6 paise per minute charge will not apply on any Jio to Jio voice calls and all incoming calls on a Jio mobile connection, calls made from your Jio connection to a landline and data calls made for voice or video using apps such as WhatsApp and Apple FaceTime.
The Interconnect Usage Charge or IUC which is the basis for this move, is a tariff paid by one mobile telecom operator to another, when the customers of one mobile network make outgoing mobile calls to the another operator’s mobile network, that is to their friends and family using the other mobile network. For example, if person A is to make a call from a Reliance Jio connection to an Airtel mobile connection used by his friend, Reliance Jio will have to pay this charge to Airtel on a per minute basis because the call landed on the Airtel network. These calls between two different networks are known as mobile off-net calls, as defined by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The IUC charges are fixed by the TRAI at 6 paise per minute.
Till now, Reliance Jio had been paying the IUC charge to other operators even though they were offering unlimited voice calls to users, irrespective of the network they were calling to, for local calls and STD calls.
Reliance Jio says that this new tariff will stay in place till the IUC tariffs are abolished in January 2020. “So far, in the last three years Jio has paid nearly Rs.13,500 crore as NET IUC charges to the other operators,” says Jio in an official statement.
So, what are the new tariff options for consumers who wish to make calls without additional charges to other mobile networks? There are multiple IUC Top-Up Voucher options available. The Rs 10 top-up voucher offers 124 minutes of non-IUC calls to non-Jio mobiles along with 1GB free additional data.
The Rs 20 top-up voucher bundles 249 minutes of calls along with 2GB of data, the Rs 50 voucher offers 656 minutes of calls to other mobile networks and 5GB of data while the Rs 100 voucher allows for 1,362 minutes of calls along with 10GB of additional data.