Despite the three telecom operators having just announced tariff hikes ranging between 15-50 per cent, industry association Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Tuesday wrote to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to set a floor price for data services. It has said that its members, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio, are in agreement with this demand.
In its communication to Trai chairman RS Sharma, COAI has written that in today’s fierce competition voluntary tariff hike by operators will not suffice and a regulation of tariff is required for which floor price for data services is required.
“We further submit that the tariff correction in the current level of fierce competition is not possible by any service provider voluntarily and thus the only option available is prescription of a minimum tariff for mobile data service by the Authority. 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 the pyramid and, therefore, would need to be continued under the present forbearance regime,” Rajan Mathews, director general, COAI has written. —FE