Trai bars telecom firms from offering discriminatory tariff

Trai bars telecom firms from offering discriminatory tariff

Banning telecom companies from offering discriminatory tariff to subscribers of the same category, the Trai on Thursday asked all service providers to submit their plans to the regulator within seven days of their launch.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) issued the direction after it received a complaint against some companies found launching tariffs without filing it with the regulator and offering discriminatory tariff to individual customers of the same class.

“Clause 10 of the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 provides that no service provider shall, in any manner, discriminate between subscribers of the same class and such classification of subscribers shall not be arbitrary. Provided that different tariffs in the nature of ‘Vertical Price Squeeze’ shall be a case of discriminatory tariff,” Trai said.

To ensure that all the tariffs offered to the consumers shall be in accordance with the provisions of Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999, and do not discriminate subscribers of the same class, all the tariff plans must be reported to it, the Trai said.

“While adopting the forbearance regime in tariff, Trai has made it mandatory for all the service providers to file their tariffs within seven working days from the date of implementation of the said tariff,” the regulator said.

Earlier, Reliance Jio had filed complaint with the regulator against Bharti Airtel saying the telecom major violated tariff rules by issuing misleading offers and arbitrarily discriminating among its own customers subscribing to the same plan.

Jio alleged that the two plans of Airtel priced at Rs 293 and Rs 449, respectively are being marketed in a misleading manner. It said that Airtel’s advertisements of these offers are an attempt to lure prospective subscribers making them believe that they will be provided 1 GB data per day for 70 days.

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