India Communications Minister A. Raja
If India’s Communications Minister A. Raja has his way, mobile phone tariffs will drop even further. If two new government initiatives go through, the consumer might just see a drastic cut in his monthly phone bill.
Lowering termination
The Economic Times is reporting that on Tuesday, at a meeting with CEOs of all telecom companies, Raja proposed reducing the termination charges that mobile phone carriers currently face.
A termination charge is basically the fee that Vodafone would pay Bharti Airtel if one of its customers were to call an Airtel user. Currently, this charge is set at 20 paise per minute, which most companies pass on to the user. However, under the reduction Raja proposed, the charge would be 10 paise per minute, which would reduce local and STD tariffs by about 15 per cent.
The next step in this proposal is to get the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to analyse and approve this reduction, followed by its implementation.
Mandatory per-second-billing?
A lot of new telecom operators, such as Tata Docomo, have started offering ‘per second’ billing services, as opposed to the ‘per minute’ pulse that has always existed. This move has prompted some of the bigger players, such as Airtel, Loop Mobile and Vodafone, to join the bandwagon and cut their costs.

The TRAI has seen this trend and is considering the possibility of making it mandatory for telecom operators to offer per-second billing for mobile phone usage. While the TRAI initially proposed this notion last month, it has now said that a consultation paper on the same would be prepared by December.