Trai will meet telecom service providers about tariff floor price

Vastavam web: Regulator Trai will meet all telecom service providers on July 21 to seek their views on ‘minimum floor price’ for voice and data tariffs, as being demanded by some operators, an official has said.The minimum floor price, for both data and voice calls, has been demanded by a section of incumbent telecom operators, but implementing it could mean an end to freebies in the market.The regulator will ask the operators to explain their views on ‘minimum floor price’ for tariffs, and also the formulation or math for the fixing such a rate, the official said.

During the meeting, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will seek the rationale for the floor price demand, and has asked operators to also give detailed presentation to support their arguments. It is also expected to ask the telcos why an upper ceiling for tariffs is not similarly justified.Highlighting the growing financial stress on operators, Idea Cellular, in its presentation to the IMG had said that the industry has been witnessing losses and negative returns driven by below cost tariffs that are “predatory”.It may be recalled that Mukesh Ambani promoted Reliance Jio had stormed into the telecom market last year, wooing customers with promotional free voice and data services. Jio still offers aggressive data plans and has promised that voice calls will forever be free on its network.