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In a big announcement, Reliance Jio made domestic off-net voice calls to rival phone networks free from today. This spells doom for the Interconnect Usage Charges regime.

Over the last year or so, Jio was charging customers 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to rival phone networks. However, it compensated the customer by providing them free data of equal value.

“As per directions of the Hon’ble Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”), Bill and Keep regime is being implemented in the country from 1st January 2021, thereby ending interconnect usage charges (IUC) for all domestic voice calls,” Jio said in a statement.

“Honouring its commitment to revert off-net domestic voice-call charges to zero, as soon as IUC charges are abolished, Jio will once again make all off-net domestic voice calls free, starting 1st January 2021. On-net domestic voice calls have always been free on the Jio network,” it added.

The firm further said that it did not have any option, but to start charging its customers for off-net voice calls at a rate exactly equivalent to the applicable IUC charge after Trai extended the timeline for implementation of the Bill & Keep regime beyond January 1, 2020.

“We had assured its users that this charge would continue only till the time TRAI abolished IUC charges. Today, we have delivered on that promise and made off-net voice calls free again,” Jio said.

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