TRAI to Telcos : Don’t Charge Extra for SMS, Calls on Blackout Days

In order to further improve transparency in Mobile services, India’s telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued directive to all Mobile Service Providers (GSM/CDMA) prescribing additional measures with a view to enhance transparency in the matter of charging on Blackout Days.

TRAI said that Mobile operators should not charge customers on calls or SMSes beyond their existing tariff plans on ‘Blackout Days’ like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Holi and New Year etc.

The term ‘blackout days’ refers to the days on which the service providers do not allow free or concessional voice calls/ SMS offered by them under any plan/ package. Certain guidelines are already in place as per which the number of Blackout Days shall not exceed five in a calendar year and no alteration in any such date is allowed after the package is subscribed by the consumer.

The additional measures now being mandated include the following:

(i) The charges for calls or SMSs on ‘Blackout’ Days shall not exceed the rate in the tariff plan in which the consumer is enrolled;

(ii) Consumers shall be given intimation prior to start of every Blackout Day and the date/ occasion of the Blackout Day shall also be intimated.

(iii) List of Blackout Days applicable for the calendar year shall be displayed on the website of service providers, before start of every calendar year and shall be published, service area wise, along with the tariff plans of the service provider, every six months.

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39 Comments on "TRAI to Telcos : Don’t Charge Extra for SMS, Calls on Blackout Days"


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gopi kondlepu
September 9, 2015 10:18 am 10:18 AM

Please inform to the custemers who suffering with sms barried from TRAI how to unbarried servoce of sms by TRAI

December 6, 2014 11:55 pm 11:55 PM
I filed RTI against TRAI and asked them about their policy. (Why they are charging extra on Festivals) – I asked them why you are charging extra money only on Hindu Festivals ? – Show me your policy where you have only indicated to charge only on Hindu Festivals. – Why don’t you charge on Muslim Festivals. I also asked them if you are giving excuses for Minority then Christians are very less than Muslims. Nevertheless, you are charged extra money on Christmas and New Year Eve and also on New Year. I also asked them why you are insulting… Read more »
December 7, 2014 11:15 am 11:15 AM
Hi Manish, I do understand your concern about Telcos charging higher on black out days, but the days chosen for black out are not governed by TRAI in any way that lies solely with the discretion of the telecom operator and varies from operator to operator and from circle to circle. Trai just permits a total of 5 black out days in a year apart from that it lays out no other guideline, now the telecom operator analyses which days it experiences highest call and text volumes in a particular circle and picks those days for black out to make… Read more »
December 7, 2014 1:07 pm 1:07 PM
Hi Esmail, I have many muslim friends in Arab & Gulf countries where Muslims are in majority. They told me on their religion their Telecom companies reduces call prices. If you are talking about majority and minority then can you explain this to me ? You are saying Hindus are in majority so what about christian ? They are less than Muslims but TRAI is charging extra money on Christmas, New Year Eve ? Can you explain to me this as well ? What if TRAI charge extra you on EID. Will you stop calling your relatives on that special… Read more »
December 7, 2014 11:44 am 11:44 AM

Very well answered.

October 1, 2014 10:40 pm 10:40 PM

At per TRAI the black out days cannot exceed 5. But most of the service provider have atleast 10 like airtel.