Telecom regulator TRAI today said that operators will have to provide an optional tariff of per second call along with other packages or plans.

“Per second billing will be one of the options that (telecom) service providers have to provide,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman J.S. Sarma told reporters when asked about the reactions from operators on the suggestions for per second billing.

“Currently we are preparing a consultation paper on this, which will be out in one to one and a half months,” he added.

Sarma said the idea behind the move is to bring in a plan for consumers which offers per second billing.

He said, “Operators can offer it along with other plans. It does not mean we will fix the tariff. When we make recommendation on this issue, we will keep in view the interest of operators as well as consumers.”

Earlier this week, Sarma said on the sidelines of International Telecommunication Union conference in Geneva.

“We may ask all the operators to consider per second pulse as a mandatory tariff option along with their other tariff plans.”

He went on to add, “Even there (in per-second tariff plan), they must ensure to bring out clearly all the riders and caveats.”

Sarma’s comments kicked up a row that the regulator was trying to fix tariffs even as the average revenues per user for the industry, especially cellular operators, is declining.

The move is also believed to be one of the reasons for the recent battering of the telecom stock.

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