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TRAI Might Launch Transparent Costing Norms

The telecom watchdog this week is expected to reveal rules on transparent costing, even as it mulls over challenging directions to it from the telecom tribunal on the issue. This comes at a time when the controller thinks that appellate entity can deliver judgment on its move but not issue the orders.

Last week, the TDSAT (Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) ordered the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to act in opposition to Reliance Jio for not sticking to the 7-day boundary of reporting the Welcome Offer rolled out on September 5, 2016. In addition to this, it also asked the regulator to structure rules for non-predatory and transparent costing. The tribunal had also charged the newbie for breaking several regulations while providing free data and voice from September 5, 2016, to March end of the next year via 2 separate offers.

TRAI Might Launch Transparent Costing Norms

People well known with the issue claimed that regulator was a self-governing body and the tribunal might not have the lawful grounds to give orders to it to take authoritarian moves. “The regulator is a self-governing organization that makes regulations for the segment, and the TDSAT is well inside its rights to quash or uphold any regulations. But it can’t direct the controller to make particular regulations. For that there is a due process of consultation that has been executed and regulations can’t be made abruptly,” one of the sources claimed to the media. “The order from TDSAT might well be challenged,” he further added.

Apart from ordering TRAI to take action in opposition to Jio, TDSAT asked TRAI to roll out rules to make sure that tariff offers are not grasping and that they obey with regulations around IUC. “No guideline or benchmark has been offered by TRAI as to when a below-price tariff by a particular market might turn out to be predatory,” TDSAT claimed to the media in an interview. One of the sources answered, claiming, “If there is an issue, it will be solved only post it emerges, so laws can’t be anticipated.”

The tribunal also banned all operators from providing “all services” free, without the prior written approval of the regulator. It further asked TRAI to carry out a quick dissemination and collection of relevant information associated to turnover, user base, volume of traffic, and switching capacity conditional on practicality. Almost 1/3rd of activity in any of these factors if held by a telecom firm might allude to noteworthy market power.

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