The telecom industry has currently seen a lot of debate among telecom operators with regards to the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC), with Jio finally beginning to charge its customers for the same for all outgoing calls. While a resolution to that issue is yet to be seen, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has taken a decision regarding the ring time for outgoing calls and the verdict is mostly against what Jio wanted. The call alert time for all operators has been set to 30 seconds as standard.
According to the latest press release from TRAI, all telecom operators are now supposed to offer 30 seconds of ringing for all outgoing and incoming calls. This ring time has to be 30 seconds regardless of whether the call hasn’t been answered or rejected. And operator of the originating call has to release an unanswered call after 90 seconds if the terminating network doesn’t deliver the call release message.
“Access Provide would have to maintain the time duration of alert for an incoming voice call, which is neither answered nor rejected by the called party, to thirty seconds for Cellular Mobile Telephone Service and sixty seconds for Basic Telephone Service. The terminating network shall, on expiry of thirty seconds in case of Cellular Mobile Telephone Service and sixty seconds in case of Basic Telephone Service, release the incoming voice call and transmit the call release message to the originating network. However, originating network may release an unanswered call after ninety seconds in case the call release message is not received from the terminating network,” says TRAI.
This decision comes a month after Jio and Airtel engaged in a debate with regards to ringer time for outgoing calls. Airtel has been offering a ringing time of 45 seconds on its network and it believed that this provided sufficient time to pick up a call. Airtel also suggested TRAI that the receiving network should have the say on how much should be the ring time for an incoming call to one of its customers. Jio, however, reduced the ring time in order to avoid incurring the IUC charges and it brought it down to as low as 20 seconds. Vodafone meanwhile suggested the ring time should be around 30 seconds.
With uneven ring times, customers often ended up giving missed calls to others. And if the receiving customer called back, that network had to pay the IUC charges and hence, expenses rose for that particular network. Jio initially was incurring a lot of IUC charges but after reducing its ring time, the situation revered and other operators had to pay more IUC charges.
With the ring time now set to a standard limit, all operators will have to allow callers to witness a ring time of 30 seconds whether the call goes unanswered or is cancelled. The uniform ring time will offer a uniform opportunity to all operators and should even out the expenses.
However, the debate regarding cancelling the IUC charge is still pending and a definitive solution to that is expected to come by December 31, 2019.