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Telcos can't discriminate tariffs in same category

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MUMBAI: Telecom regulator TRAI has directed telecom operators to stop providing discriminatory tariffs to the subscribers of the same category and report all plans to the sector watchdog within seven days of their launch.

The decision, signed by KaushaI Kishore, advisor (F&EA), comes soon after Reliance Jio’s complaint against other players, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

Jio had filed complaint against Bharti Airtel in April saying the telecom major contravened tariff rules by releasing misleading offers and arbitrarily discriminating among its own consumers subscribing to the same plan. Bharti Airtel spokesperson had denied the allegations saying the company was fully complying with all regulatory guidelines, including tariff orders.

TRAI has now said that all the tariffs offered to the consumers shall be in accordance with the provisions of Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 and shall not be discriminatory between the subscribers of the same class and to ensure that every tariff that is offered to a customer is invariably reported to the Authority.

TRAI said it has the duty to notify in the Official Gazette the rates at which the telecommunication services within India and outside India shall be provided under the TRAI Act, 1997. The Authority may notify different rates for different persons or class of persons for similar telecommunication services and where different rates are flxed.

The Authority, while adopting the forbearance regime in tariff, has made it mandatory for all the service providers to file their tariffs with TRAI within seven working days from the date of implementation of the said tariff;

No exception/exemption has been granted for tariff reporting except for bulk customers and, in that case too, it is compulsory for all service providers to provide details about the number of plans and the bulk customers availing them along with a certification, for information and record of the Authority.

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