Floor Prices Will Be Fixed After Normalcy Gets Restored in Telecom Sector: Trai Chairman

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The Trai or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has once again declined the request of telecom operators to set fixed floor pricing in India. Telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio has been facing financial distress due to the AGR crisis and lockdown period, which was announced by the government to fight Coronavirus. As reported by ET Telecom, Trai Chairman Ram Sewak Sharma stated that floor prices would be fixed after the nationwide lockdown is lifted and normalcy is restored in the telecom sector. He also stated that Trai is aware of the financial health of the industry, and it will protect the interest of consumers and ensure the growth of the sector.

ARPU of Telcos are Lowest in the World: COAI

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) penned a letter to Trai Chairman dated May 21, 2020, and stated that telecom operators have been facing massive financial burden which has declined the ARPU of the telcos. Currently, ARPU of the Indian telecom operators is the lowest as compared to the world. To ensure the telecom sector gets back in the same position and the financial distress fades away, COAI has urged the Trai to set up floor price soon. Trai Chairman Sharma also stated that the regulatory body is open for discussion regarding the matter of floor price.

Telcos Urged Trai to Fix Floor Price for Data Services Soon

The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the normal functionality of the telecom industry. Since the government of India announced the lockdown period to combat the deadly virus, the demand for data services increased drastically in the period. All the big companies announced work from home for their employees to ensure their safety. Telecom operators nearly witnessed a 20 % increase in data consumption in the lockdown period. As the demand for data increased suddenly, telecom operators are facing a huge load of network towers. However, all the telcos have been doing their best to ensure seamless data services in the lockdown period. Telecom service providers have already urged Trai to fix a floor price for data services. Also, the group has requested Trai to set up an online process for open house discussion on the matter. However, Trai feels that a physical discussion will lead to higher ecosystem participation.

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