'Hike in mobile phone tariffs imminent'

'Hike in mobile phone tariffs imminent'

Without ruling out a hike in telecom tariffs, Rahul Khullar, Chairperson of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on Monday said that ‘everyone should wake up to the reality.’

Speaking at an interactive session with the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) members, he said since prices of all essential commodities had seen a sharp rise over the years, a hike in mobile phone tariffs was no exception.

“Consumers have enjoyed low tariffs for a long time. Now that the industry is going through hardships, it is justified in increasing tariffs to reduce losses. Telecom service providers cannot continue to work with red ink on their books,” Khullar said.

He also said that losses incurred by the telecom industry had a domino effect on other industries.

Cut-throat competition

Replying to a question, he criticised extreme competition that characterised pricing and said it was destroying the industry.

On the effects of radiation from mobile phone towers, Khullar said that the existing safety norms would be revised once evidence was proved.

A study will be conducted later this year to assess the impact of mobile phone towers on the health of humans, he added.

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