Mobile tariff Set to fall

Thursday, March 27, 2008 | | |

Local and domestic long distance mobile call tariffs may drop further, thanks to telecom regulator TRAI on Thursday announcing that private telecom operators would be exempted from paying a fee called 'ADC' to state-run BSNL by April 1.

"We will be passing on the benefit to our customers wherever possible," a spokesperson of leading CDMA operator Tata Teleservices said.

GSM player Bharti Airtel also welcomed the move saying, "We are committed to passing on the benefits of ADC relief to the customers primarily in the rural areas as desired by TRAI."

Another major player Vodafone Essar also welcomed the move and said that it too would pass on the benefit to customers in an equitable manner and announce it shortly.

Access Deficit Charge (ADC) was paid by private telecom service providers to compensate BSNL for offering services in rural areas at subsidised rates.

Besides, TRAI has also announced the reduction of ADC on international calls to 50 paise from Rs 1 at present.

However, BSNL which has been advocating for continuation of this levy got some respite as TRAI has decided to recommend to the government to provide Rs 2,000 crore annually for a period of 3 years to compensate the loss of ADC account.

BSNL was getting Rs 5,000 crore annually through ADC till about two years ago from private players.

The ADC has two parts. First it is 0.75 per cent of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) that service providers pay to BSNL and second, Re 1 per minute on international incoming calls paid to the PSU by international long distance service providers.