Regulators

TRAI chief R S Sharma defends differential pricing regulation

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NEW DELHI: While defending the decision on differential pricing for data services from telecom companies, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R S Sharma categorically stated that with the digital landscape changing constantly, the policy would be reviewed every two years.

Speaking at the 10th India Digital Summit on the theme ‘Stand Up Start Up’ organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Sharma stressed the necessity of augmenting telecom and digital infrastructure to meet the growing demand of a truly digital India.

On connectivity, he said drive tests are done regularly by TRAI. “Telecom companies have started raising objections pertaining to consulting on the methods TRAI is using. We have started that process also. So this time when we did the test, we have also taken their suggestions into account,” he said.

“Whatever drive tests we have done, have been very objective. This was done in a transparent manner and if there are any more suggestions for transparency, we are certainly ready to look at it. But by simply saying that what you have done is not really correct is not the right approach,” Sharma voiced.

Adding that the next test drive is likely to be in April, Sharma said that connectivity was bound to improve with release of more spectrum.

“Seamless connectivity is the essence of true digitisation. With Digital Locker; e-Sign and Aadhar, India is the only country in the world to have such advanced technology. India is also the only country to have the technicality of checking identity of a person digitally through Aadhar,” he said.

Earlier, IAMAI chairman Kunal Shah, who is the founder & CEO of FreeCharge, said in his inaugural address that continuous innovation is the key for staying relevant and that the young start-ups should focus on reinventing rather than focusing on raising funds.

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