Amid allegations that new telecom operators were resorting to predatory tariffs, Telecom regulator TRAI has sought details of tariff plans from the service providers and may issue a consultation paper on it.
After Tata Teleservices initiated one paise per second tariff, which others followed suit, Bharti Airtel had sought TRAI’s intervention to ensure that no operator resorts to predatory pricing (offering tariffs less than cost).
Asked whether a consultation paper on predatory pricing would be issued, TRAI Chairman J. S. Sarma said, “We have asked operators for their plans (tariff) if necessary we will come up with a consultation paper on this.
“There is no fixed timeline for this... some of the operators have already given their plans.”
As of now the mobile tariffs are under market driven and not regulated. However, some of the players feel that it would be appropriate for TRAI to fix an upper limit of the tariff.
TRAI has not yet made up its mind on whether to take a view on it or leave the tariffs to market forces.
The mobile tariffs have touched rock bottom of one paise a second and in some cases even lower at the rate of half a paise per second pulse. This has put pressure on mobile operators’ top as well as bottom line but has resulted in monthly addition of 13-15 million new mobile subscribers.