Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that subscribers should be given freedom to choose among national and international long distance operators using operator-specific calling cards.
The move will give subscribers the freedom to choose a service provider for STD and ISD voice calls, TRAI said in is recommendations to the department of telecom.
Customers can use long distance calling cards to make STD or ILD calls from telephone of any access provider, the regulator said.
''Consumers can subscribe to any access provider and still not be dependent on the access provider for long distance calls," it said.
TRAI has recommended amendment of NLD/ILD operators licence conditions to allow them to access customers directly for national and international long-distance calls.
The telecom sector was in the process of opening up and availability of carrier selection was considered an important pre-requisite for vibrant competition.
Competition brought in by carrier selection was considered important for bringing in operational efficiencies in the long distance segment and also in offering choice, quality and affordable prices to the consumers, TRAI noted.
These steps are expected to empower the consumer further as they would be able to exercise choice of carrier for the national and international using calling cards.
TRAI had already removed curbs on internet telephony and has allowed the ISPs to offer unrestricted telephony which is expected to further lower the STD tariffs. The recent recommendations is expected to further boost competition in the telecom sector.
Carrier Access Code (CAC) is a mechanism that allows subscribers to choose a long distance operator, irrespective of their service provider. However, the alternate plan of virtual calling card has been recommended as the service providers were not ready to implement the CAC.
TRAI's recommendations that follow extensive review of mechanisms of providing choice of long distance carrier to the Indian consumer are expected to lead to the following benefits:
- Consumer would be able to exercise choice of long distance operator for the national and international calls through calling cards.
- Competition would be encouraged and affordable innovative tariff plans would become available.
- Consumer can subscribe to any access provider and still not be dependent on the access provider for long distance calls.
- Through long distance calling cards customer can make long distance calls from telephone of any access provider.