Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to unveil the pricing rules in six weeks in a move to get transparency in tariff assessment of telecom service providers. The price war between the new entrant Reliance Jio and the top players in the industry is accused of the disruptive pricing.
“We are coming up with a set of regulatory principles on tariff in a month to 1.5-month’s timeframe,” says, Trai secretary Sudhir Gupta. “The sector regulator was reviewing the Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO) 1999 to bring clarity on pricing,” he added.
Recently, the mobile tariff has become another contentious issue which Jio and rival telcos blame each other of predatory pricing. Jio accuses existing telcos of providing customized retention plans to customers to hold the customers. The threat of subscriber erosion was huge when Jio made its debut offering unlimited free services.
Earlier in April, Jio demanded TRAI to penalize Bharati Airtel for violating tariff rules with some plans marketed with the price at Rs 293 and Rs 449.
However, Trai secretary Gupta admitted that over a period of one and a half decade, the technology took many changes. As a result, they have engineered a shift from voice to data. Also, this shift has driven TRAI to review the tariffs regulatory principles designed back in 1999.
The telecom regulator sought comments on processes in a 32-page consultation paper issued on February 17. Also, TRAI declared that it would continue to monitor the tariffs. The authority has asked stakeholders to state their views by April 21 and counter comments by May 1 to determine norms for predatory pricing.