Regulators

TRAI warns MSOs and LMOs to speed up billing in DAS areas

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MUMBAI: Even after several deadlines being issued in January regarding implementation of billing in DAS areas, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has not seen much progress on this front.  And to now address the issue, the Regulator had called for a meeting of the multi system operators (MSOs) and last mile owners (LMOs) in Mumbai on 3 June.

Taking note of all the issues being faced by both the parties, TRAI has asked both the MSOs and LMOs to resolve their issues and start the billing process as soon as possible. The Regulator has also taken inputs from them and will conduct an internal meeting soon.

TRAI has directed the two parties to sign proper inter connect agreements with each other to ensure that money collected from subscriber goes through the right channel. “Because of their revenue sharing problem, the consumer is affected. If the two parties haven’t signed any agreement, how can they collect money from the consumer?” asks a TRAI official who was present in the meeting.

Show cause notices have been sent to MSOs operating in Delhi and those in DAS phase II cities regarding billing process. “Channel aggregation is done by MSO and he also has the subscriber management system. So ideally he should be doing the work of billing,” says the official.

The tug of war between MSOs and LMOs over ownership of subscribers has not yet been resolved. However, the official says that a subscriber is no one’s property and is free.

The meeting comes a few days after TRAI issued a directive to MSOs to start billing in DAS phase I cities such that the bill reaches the consumer within 45 days by either hand, post or email along with an option to pay the money online.

TRAI will look at holding such meetings in other parts of the country as well.  

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