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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

For transparency in mobile tariff plans, Trai asks telcos to ‘prominently highlight’ terms

The move by Trai is seen as tightening the regulations for telcos which promised priority service for customers on certain plans.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: September 19, 2020 1:20:11 am
Best prepaid plan under rs 400, Airtel, Vodafone, Jio, Airtel best prepaid plan under rs 400, Vodafone best prepaid plan under rs 400, Jio best prepaid plan under rs 400, Airtel Rs 399 prepaid plan, Vodafone Rs 399 prepaid plan, Jio Rs 399 prepaid planThe tariff plans such published must make essential disclosures such as the volume or units of voice and data being offered, the rates applicable, the limit of usage, and the rate and speed beyond the applicable limits. (Express Photo)

In an effort to make mobile tariffs more transparent and help users make better decisions, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday asked all operators to “prominently highlight” the additional terms and conditions of tariff plans for both post-paid and prepaid on its website and app, retail outlets as well as other point of sale.

The tariff plans such published must make essential disclosures such as the volume or units of voice and data being offered, the rates applicable, the limit of usage, and the rate and speed beyond the applicable limits.

Telcos must also publish complete details of upfront cost to be borne by the customer and an exhaustive list of all inclusions of a tariff plan as well as all “promised service parameters such as data speed” in a clear, unambiguous and easy to understand manner.

The move by Trai is seen as tightening the regulations for telcos which promised priority service for customers on certain plans.

Explained

Stricter regulations

The move by Trai is seen as tightening the regulations for telcos which promised priority service for customers on certain plans. On July 11, the sector regulator had asked both Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Bharti Airtel to stop offering premium and ‘priority on network’ services. Trai had in a letter asked both telcos to explain their premium services offering.

On July 11, the sector regulator had asked both Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Bharti Airtel to stop offering premium and ‘priority on network’ services. Trai had in a letter asked both telcos to explain their premium services offering within a week and directed them to stop on-boarding new customers until further orders.

Vodafone Idea, which offers premium services under its Vodafone Red umbrella, had launched VodafoneRedX service back in November 2019. The new premium service was a limited time subscription plan which offered higher data speeds at Rs 999 per month.

It was later amended in May this year, and offered up to 50 per cent higher speeds compared to other customers on the 4G network. The price of the package was also upped. The company has, however, since removed the “priority 4G network” claim from its RedX plan.

Bharti Airtel, too had, on July 6, announced its foray into the premium service segment with offers of higher speeds for postpaid users on Rs 499 or above monthly plans.

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