TRAI Will Check Whether Telcos Are Playing Clever Game of Differential Tariffs

The regulator has sought for bids from its empanelled auditors who are involved in telco metering and billing by June 10, 2022. Following the bids, TRAI will select five auditors for going ahead with the process.

Highlights

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is looking to conduct a special audit on the telcos in India to check whether they were offering differential tariffs.
  • The aim of the move is to ensure that there is no malpractice or any undercutting with regards to MNP specific tariffs from the telcos.
  • The audit from TRAI would be focused on finding whether the telcos are engaging in discriminatory offerings which are against the rules around pricing.

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is looking to conduct a special audit on the telcos in India to check whether they were offering differential tariffs through the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) route. Back in 2021, TRAI had released a directive which said that the telcos along with their channel partners can’t make differential tariff offers for attracting customers through the MNP route.

According to an ET report, the audit from TRAI would be focused on finding whether the telcos are engaging in discriminatory offerings which are against the rules around pricing.

TRAI Has Sought Bids for Selecting Auditors

As per the publication, the regulator has sought bids from its empanelled auditors who are involved in telco metering and billing by June 10, 2022. Following the bids, TRAI will select five auditors for going ahead with the process.

An official aware of the matter told the publication that this audit will check how compliant the telcos have been with the September 2021 order on the prohibition of MNP-specific tariff orders.

The aim of the move is to ensure that there is no malpractice or any undercutting with regard to MNP specific tariffs from the telcos. Further, the audit would oversee the kind of tariffs that the telcos offer through each of their platforms including the website, mobile app, channel partners and more.

It is worth noting that the TRAI had issued this order in the first place because the telcos were continuously complaining about each other with respect to offering differential tariffs related to MNP for acquiring and retaining customers.

TRAI had said that it is the responsibility of the telcos to oversee whether their channel partners or other platforms are indulging in malpractice with MNP specific tariffs to offer differential prices for getting an advantage over the competitors. This is because the telcos are licensed while its channel partners aren’t and thus the telcos are only answerable for the developments.

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