TRAI Looking to Understand Tariff Issues During Natural Calamities

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On Wednesday, the telecom regulator TRAI floated a consultation paper in order to discuss the tariff-related issues for cell broadcast and SMS alerts that are disseminated via the Common Altering Protocol (CAP) platform at times of both disasters and non-disasters. TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) explained that there are specific occasions when the government might like to send alerts to the public free of cost to warn of a potential disaster.

The focus on the same is to promote the use of the Common Alerting Protocol standard to issue public alerts and push hazard notifications at times of emergency situations and disasters. The cell broadband platform is used to send messages to several users in a specific geographical area simultaneously. The broadcast range can vary from a single cell to the overall network. Currently, cell broadcast has been included in the existing 3G, 2G, 3GPP, and LTE standards.

TRAI Consults On Tariff Issues During Disasters

While highlighting the relevance of the consultation paper, TRAI said that the government might want to warn the public at times of disasters or occasions where the public has to be informed of events such as holding vaccines, relief, or medical camps or certain laws and order related scenarios, etc.

Currently, the department of telecommunications (DoT) lets SMS and cell broadcast messages be sent for free of cost for a specific period and for events wherein a specific request for free messages comes from certain nodal authorities.

Furthermore, TRAI stated that the purpose of the latest consultation paper to discuss the tariff-related issues for cell broadcast and SMS alerts disseminated via the CAP platform during disasters and specific events was to seek the views of stakeholders regarding the same. Also, it aims to understand the technical aspects that would have an impact on the price of the service.

The consultation paper added that DoT has required TRAI to provide tariffs for the cell broadcast and SMS alerts or messages that are to be disseminated by the various telecom operators via the CAP platform during the situations of both non-disasters and disasters.

Furthermore, TRAI has invited written comments on the same by December 1 and counter-comments by December 15, 2021.

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Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.


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