TRAI has recently stated that it will go on to review the freedom of the telecom operators to fix mobile call and service rates if the increased tariffs in future are beyond the current base rates which stand at 2 paise per second as of now. “I do not expect headlines tariff to change. If they change, as and when they change, I have told the industry, then the regulator reserves its right to go back and look at it again if forbearance should be continued or not. I am being open, there is nothing to hide,” is what TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar when he was asked about current issues such as spectrum sharing and lowering of maximum of rates on leased lines reports ET.
The base tariffs are basically the maximum that the operators can charge their customers but they usually charge less than that. The freedom to fix the base rates has been given to the operators as of now as the regulatory authority is of the opinion that market forces of demand, supply and competition will keep a tab on the tariffs.
TRAI has also proposed that the government should allow telecom operators to share their spectrum across all forms of spectrum for providing the consumers with telecom services. What this will do us that telecom operators will be able to save costs in the cost of ownership of spectrum regard. Recent biddings have shot up the cost of the ownership of spectrums by almost 5 times when compared to the older licensing norms.
What this means for a consumer is that TRAI is there for you in case the operators increase the base tariffs and start charging you more. Telecom operators have taken huge debts to gain ownership of spectrums and they need to pay back the debts. When they see that cost of ownership is going down due to sharing of spectrum, they might raise base tariffs to repay the debts. But TRAI is going to look at the interests of the consumer and will ensure that you do not end up paying higher amounts.
Do you think this move will make a difference in Indian Telecom Industry ? Do let us know via comments.