COAI gives a thumb down to TRAI’s decision on differential pricing

By February 9th, 2016 AT 10:23 AM

The Cellular Association of India (COAI) today expressed its disappointment over TRAI’s decision against differential pricing and said that the rule will have an impact on the government’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ initiative.


The telecom regulator today announced that no service provider will be allowed to offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content and a penalty of Rs 50,000 a day, capped at Rs 50 lakh, will be levied on service providers breaching the rule.

Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI, said: “COAI had approached the regulator with the reasons to allow price differentiation as the move would have taken us closer to connecting the one billion unconnected citizens of India. By opting to turn away from this opportunity, TRAI has ignored all the benefits of price differentiation that we had submitted as a part of the industry’s response to its consultation paper, including improving economic efficiency, increase in broadband penetration, reduction in customer costs and provision of essential services among other things.”

“In our opinion, TRAI’s regulation on prohibiting differential pricing constitutes a welfare-reducing measure of high concern by blocking a possible avenue for our less-advantaged citizens to move to increased economic growth and prosperity by harnessing the power of the Internet. We believe that this measure will have an impact on the Government’s ambitious Digital India initiative,” he added.

TRAI maintained that the regulation will not be applicable for data services over closed communication networks, unless tariffs offered evade prohibition of this regulation.
“Only exemption – tariffs may be reduced for accessing emergency services or at times of public emergency,” TRAI said.

Having over six years of experience in business journalism, Krishna has a knack for writing on telecom and IT. She believes that tryst with technology is the best thing that has ever happened to the mankind. Krishna is a telecom analyst with CMR

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ColoradoAbishekKiran FernandesjsNathaniel Recent comment authors
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Association of Vodafone, idea, airtel and all other PVT operators spokesperson will speak like this only. To make the digital India dream come true only BSNL can do it without looking at profit. So all people support BSNL to become profitable by at least taking some service of BSNL.


Whatever little credibility was left in my mind regarding COAI just vanished forever! This statement by them simply proves that they are nothing but a CARTEL of greedy telecom service providers (namely airtel, Vodafone & Idea). And look at the way they have written the statement, “TRAI’s regulation on prohibiting differential pricing constitutes a welfare-reducing measure of high concern by blocking a possible avenue for our less-advantaged citizens to move to increased economic growth”. I have never seen such blatant lies being spoken out with such impunity! In my opinion COAI should be disbanded immediately and cartelization charges should be… Read more »

Kiran Fernandes
Kiran Fernandes

They will. Jio has spectrum in 850, 1800 and 2300MHz bands, and with carrier aggregation, most of the people will reach 90Mbps. And when most of their customers move to Jio, It will be Survival of the Fittest in the COAI cartel.


Btw RJio is also a member of the COAI. I’m not sure whether RJio & net neutrality will agree with each other. I read somewhere that RJio doesn’t really support net neutrality. I mean they haven’t openly spoken against it but they aren’t too keen with this new legislation.

But yes when it comes to 4G performance & pricing, RJio will surely beat the hell out of the AVoid cartel! 😀

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