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Customers never charged for IUC, unlimited calls to continue as before: Airtel

PTI     January 1, 2021

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Friday said it has never charged its customers separately for IUC and that the unlimited calling benefits will continue for subscribers without any change.

The comments came a day after Reliance Jio announced that calls by its users to other networks in India will become free from Friday, as the Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) regime ends.

Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer of Bharti Airtel said, "At Airtel, we are obsessed with delivering the best-in-class experience to our customers. Airtel mobile customers already enjoy unlimited free calls to all networks with our prepaid bundles and postpaid plans that also offer large dollops of high speed data."

Puri added that Airtel has never charged its customers separately for IUC and "the unlimited calling benefits will continue for customers without any change".

The zero IUC regime was previously slated to come into effect from January 2020, but then the telecom regulator deferred its implementation till January 1, 2021.

IUC is an inter-operator charge that is paid by a telco to another player when its customers make voice calls to subscribers of the rival network, and this charge stood at 6 paise per minute.

On Thursday, after Jio's announcement of free off-net calls came in, Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) in a statement said domestic calls to other networks have always been free for all Vi unlimited pack users, and would continue to be free January 1 onwards also.

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