Industry

Telecom service providers want floor price for mobile data services

A rickshaw puller speaks on his mobile phone as he waits for customers in front of advertisement billboards belonging to telecom companies in Kolkata February 3, 2014. India is auctioning airwaves in both the 1800 megahertz and 900 megahertz bands, and Reliance Industries, a formidable rival to market leaders Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Group PLC, has unexpectedly opted to compete for both, sources have said. Spectrum in the 1800 Mhz range would enable Reliance to offer voice services and improved coverage for its 4G Internet service and bidding for the spectrum is expected to be relatively modest given that there is plenty of it and it is less efficient than the 900 Mhz bandwidth. Picture taken February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS)

A rickshaw puller speaks on his mobile phone as he waits for customers in front of advertisement billboards belonging to telecom companies in Kolkata February 3, 2014. India is auctioning airwaves in both the 1800 megahertz and 900 megahertz bands, and Reliance Industries, a formidable rival to market leaders Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Group PLC, has unexpectedly opted to compete for both, sources have said. Spectrum in the 1800 Mhz range would enable Reliance to offer voice services and improved coverage for its 4G Internet service and bidding for the spectrum is expected to be relatively modest given that there is plenty of it and it is less efficient than the 900 Mhz bandwidth. Picture taken February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS)   | Photo Credit: RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI

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A real and sustainable remedy for sector reeling under financial stress, they say

Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea Limited, that have increased tariffs by up to 50%, have written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), seeking implementation of a minimum tariff for mobile data services as a “real and sustainable remedy” for the sector reeling under financial stress.

“All the current telecom service providers in the private sector namely Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea Limited are in complete agreement that TRAI be requested to regulate tariffs by setting floor price for data services. This should be done as soon as possible,” Rajan S. Mathews, director general at industry body COAI, said in the letter dated December 3.

Mr. Mathews added that the only remaining measures that will help sustain the sector and support investments are rationalisation of taxes and levies and increase in tariffs. “The rationalisation of taxes and levies, though desperately needed, will also provide only a semblance of relief, while the real and sustainable remedy can only be the increase in tariff.”

Pointing out that tariff correction at the current level of fierce competition is not possible by any service provider voluntarily, COAI said that the only option available is prescription of a minimum tariff for mobile data service by the Authority.

COAI has proposed that TRAI consider increasing floor tariff for data over nine months in two steps as “Indian consumers are price-sensitive and without affordability, there is a real chance of contraction of demand.”

“At the same time, the Authority would be aware that unlike mobile data, voice services are considered as essential services, especially by the subscribers at bottom of pyramid and therefore, would need to be continued under the present forbearance regime,” it added in the letter.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 10:27:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/telecom-service-providers-want-floor-price-for-mobile-data-services/article30152535.ece

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