The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) is the group helmed by the industry leaders of the telecom business, namely Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio. The Delhi-based lobbying group rallies itself on the interest lines of the telecom companies and has said that the floor pricing regime must be fixed by the sector regulator to break the industry free from the colossal financial burden that it faces. The news comes right after the development as per which an official from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said that the regulator is not thinking upon any floor pricing regime.
COAI Demands for Floor Price Regime
SP Kochhar, Director General of COAI said that since the last few years the telecom industry has been heavy financial burdens. As per the ET Telecom report on the matter, he also said that it is imperative to understand that the low tariff situation that the telcos are in currently is because of the continuously falling tariff rates. To recall, back in 2019, COAI had raised the demand for a floor pricing regime in the industry which the Telecom Regulator had turned down at the time as well.
Floor Pricing Necessary Even if For Limited Time
COAI in its statement also added that the floor pricing regime can be brought in selectively as well. Meaning that the floor pricing regime could function to check the prices of data and the voice and SMS tariffs can be left out of its ambit. Also, the group said that the regime can be brought in for a limited time period until the industry gains back financial strength. During the time of the pandemic as well, telecom companies continued to make investments and the ensured seamless connectivity to the public. The telecom data rates have continued to fall since the foray of Reliance Jio in 2016 and the data price war triggered after that. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, both agree that telecom tariffs are too low and they need to go up for the sake of the financial health of the industry.