Your phone will have shorter ring time now; here's why

Representative image. (Photo/Pixabay)

Your phone call is set to ring for a shorter duration now as telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have slashed the ring time on outgoing calls from their network to 25 seconds. Thus, the call will now get disconnected at 25 seconds instead of 45 seconds. 

While Airtel informed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) about its decision in a letter, Vodafone Idea is said to have cut the ring time in select circles.

Why did the operators slash their call duration? 

Bharti Airtel, in a letter to the TRAI, said that the company was compelled to take the decision as the regulator did not give a firm directive to its rival Reliance Jio for cutting call ring time. Earlier, their rival Reliance Jio had cut the call ring time to 30 seconds. 

Airtel contended that it repeatedly brought to the regulator's notice the consequences of Jio's move to reduce the ringer duration, including higher incidence of missed calls in cases where the called party is not able to answer immediately, but no directive was issued.

"TRAI has neither directed Reliance Jio to restore the timer to its original value nor issued any general direction to all operators to set the timer to 30 seconds as proposed by majority of operators during the meetings," said the Sunil Mittal-led company. 

How does a call time cut help Jio?

A shorter call duration results in higher cases of missed calls, claimed Airtel. It thereby forces the person receiving the call on another network to dial back, thus creating incoming call traffic for Jio. According to Airtel, the call time cut helped Jio make 6 paisa on every call that landed on its network under the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC). 

The IUC is levied by mobile networks handling incoming calls from rival networks. At present, the IUC is 6 paise a minute.

Earlier, Jio had hit back saying that globally most operators have an average ringing time of only 15-20 seconds.

The Sunil Mittal-led company has also said that cutting the ring time would help it to plug further losses on IUC.

What next?

Media reports suggested that the regulator was planning an open house discussion on the issue of 'duration of alert for the called party' on Oct. 14. The entire matter, for which a consultation paper had already been floated, would be decided soon.

The IUC was originally proposed to be made nil from Jan. 1, 2020, but the regulator is now reviewing the timeline.

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