Trai to Meet All Telcos to Discuss Tariff Floor Price on July 21

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will reportedly meet Indian telecom operators on July 21 to discuss minimum floor price for voice and data tariffs in the country. Notably, incumbent telcos during their meetings with the regulator and separately with the inter-ministerial group (IMG) had urged the telecom regulator to set a floor price for voice and data services. The demand, if accepted by the telecom regulator, would put an end of free services for customers in India, and would mean that telcos would need to get tariffs cleared by the regulator for various plans.

TRAI

In the country, tariffs for telecom services are currently under forbearance and telcos are free to decide on consumer offerings and report plans to the regulator within seven days of launch. The introduction of minimum floor price would imply a shift from that regime.

According to a PTI report, the Trai is likely to ask telecom operators to explain their views on a minimum floor price for tariffs, and also the formulation or math for the fixing such a rate, the official said. The report said that the regulator would also seek the rationale for the floor price demand.

The regulator has reportedly asked telecom operators also give a detailed presentation to support their arguments. “It is also expected to ask the telcos why an upper ceiling for tariffs is not similarly justified,” the report said.

The demand follows pressure on top telecom operators’ revenue and profitability that have been impacting after the launch of Reliance Jio’s disruptive free services in the country. Following the launch, incumbent telcos were forced to cut the cost of data services bundled with free voice service in the country. Jio’s free offers helped the telco gain 100 million users in record time.

Jio’s free service faced criticism from incumbents which termed it against norms. The regulator however previously cleared Jio’s free voice and data offers and said they don’t violate pricing norms. The matter is currently in the court and the telecom tribunal, the TDSAT.

A Times of India report recently said that India’s leading telco Airtel stayed away from the demand of a floor price, while Reliance Jio did not support the proposal, and made a demand for creating an open-market competition.

According to reports, incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea previously urged the regulator to consider the current interconnect usage charge (IUC) of 14 paise a minute as the retail floor price for voice, and any service below that be considered as predatory pricing.

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38 Comments on "Trai to Meet All Telcos to Discuss Tariff Floor Price on July 21"

 

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[…] telecom regulator has reportedly rejected top telcos like Idea Cellular’s proposal for the establishment of a floor price for voice and data tariffs in the country. RS Sharma, the chairman of the Telecom Regulatory […]

adil wadia
July 17, 2017 1:04 pm 1:04 PM
Look at it this way. Wired broadband in India will get a fillip with the floor price regulation. And only one group will benefit, RCOM and Jio because they have wires reaching almost every major town and village. BSNL will be the biggest loser because they don’t have the resources to match Jio to upgrade their copper wire network. Airtel and Vodafone Idea will also not be able to match Jio because their priority is to upgrade their legacy 2G to 4G networks not to provide wireline broadband. This is like a conspiracy theory but increasing mobile data prices may… Read more »
Speed
July 17, 2017 2:50 pm 2:50 PM

What a logic.,
Nice

Now ……… Again we struck to
Wi-Fi at home na

Sooo sad of it

adil wadia
July 19, 2017 1:43 pm 1:43 PM
wireless networks like LTE and 3G will never replace wired broadband using current technologies. Even if an operator was to get 20 Mhz spectrum chunk on the LTE band, the dynamics required to keep an entire country covered in a strong wireless coverage is way too complicated. Its nice that Jio is giving huge amounts of data currently, but if their subscriber base was to double, and if everyone used wireless data in huge amounts, the spectrum limitations will choke the network. Jio is a godsend for India where wireline penetration is low, but we need wireline connections in every… Read more »
kavin
July 17, 2017 11:23 am 11:23 AM

Trai will reduce interconnect charge to 8p/ minute, 5p/sms, and fix minimum price accordingly. ANY Customer with more than 100 minutes per day and 100 sms a day need to pay this amount beyond limitations. So opetators can give 100 minutes free a day dependons free own network or any network. Jio knows this coming long time ago, so launched chat application along with jio apps. Any data used in chat will not count, so jio chat 2 chat unlimited calls and sms…avoid will be greatest looser…they will end up paying to jio more.kavin

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