Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Calling cards are coming...

TRAI the Indian regulatory body has set in motion(ET report) the changes necessary for users to make long distance calls using calling cards. International travellers would be well aware of the indispensable calling cards which offer an optimal solution while on tour. The TRAI move is aimed at allowing users to choose their NLD (also called STD, NSD) providers by buying long distance calling packages through calling cards.

There are quite a few entities which have long-distance backbone like RailTel, PowerGrid Corp and GAIL. Currently their networks are not being used for public long distance calling since they cannot access the local loop to reach the end user. With the TRAI recommendation, telcos would have to upgrade their networks to provide interconnect with the long distance providers - potentially the RailTels and the PowerGrid Corps. Even some private players like Sify would be able to rollout effective long distance packages if this recommendation gets implemented.

Long distance call rates are going down the world over and TRAI move would suggest that they are keen to see India also following the trend. Coming to incumbent telcos, this move is seen to further erode their revenue stream as their have provide the interconnect facility as well as lower their tariffs to compete with long-distance-only operators. Some prudent deals between telcos and new long-distance players might benefit everybody.

P.S.: would highlight user issues on calling cards in a later post...

1 comment:

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