Industry

TRAI seeks comments on free data

more-in

This move is aimed at giving consumers more choices for accessing the Internet, according to a posting on the regulator’s website.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issued a consultation paper on free data seeking comments from stakeholders whether business models which provide free data or suitable reimbursement to users could be allowed without violating the differential pricing norms set by the regulator.

This move is aimed at giving consumers more choices for accessing the Internet, according to a posting on the regulator’s website.

Earlier this year, TRAI had banned the practice of differential pricing of data or allowing telecom service providers to offer differential pricing for access to specific applications or websites. The move put the end to Facebook’s Free Basics. Now, the regulator is looking at different models which can work within its regulatory framework.

“The following… seek response from stakeholders on possible options to facilitate free access to certain websites/contents or incentivising user to visit certain website/app without violating the existing TRAI Regulation on discriminatory tariff for data services,” according to the paper.

It is looking at whether a “Telecom Service Provider (TSP)-agnostic platform” that does not play the role of gate-keeper could be allowed in order to “give consumers more choices for accessing the Internet.”

The regulator cited examples of some business models like Gigato and mCent which provide data recharge coupons (essentially giving away free data without being a gatekeeper) in exchange for the customer downloading a specific application or performing some activity on a particular website.

The other models it talks about is that of a “don’t charge” or toll-free API, where the telecom service provider doesn’t act like a gatekeeper and direct transfer of money for Internet data charges.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

null
Related Topics Business Industry
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 7:25:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/TRAI-seeks-comments-on-free-data/article14328285.ece

Next Story