"The new framework is consumer-friendly and addresses the issues of stakeholders. We have provided the freedom to broadcasters and they are free to price. We have only reduced the bouquet cap to Rs 12," Trai chairman Ram Sewak Sharma said. The new regime was unveiled in Dec 2018, and the regulator has issued amendments on Jan 1, this year.
Indian television stations have sought to reverse the order a day after TRAI announced new caps on pricing and bouquet discounts. In the amended rules, announced after three-and-a-half months of consultation, the Telecom regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has reduced the cap on MRP of TV channels that are part of a bouquet by 37% to Rs 12 from Rs 19.
The central registry for stolen or lost mobiles may not be able to protect the tampering or untraceablity of the phones. The IMEI can also be changed while repairing a broken or malfunctioning mobile phone. However the IMEI number which the registry wants to block, can also be changed, say experts.
"We have taken a decision to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. An in-principle decision has been taken in this regard, Prasad said at an event here. "5G is future, it is speed. We will encourage new innovation in 5G," he added. Sources said all operators and vendors, including Huawei, will be included in trials.
The recent Supreme Court verdict adversely hit Vodafone Idea and Airtel, which backed the government’s wider definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), and face statutory dues of Rs 53,039 cr and Rs 35,586 cr respectively. They need to pay up in just over a month from now.
Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal, welcomes TRAI’s move to begin discussions on setting a floor price for data and voice tariffs, adding he hopes for a 'legal' relief. Even experts say regulatory steps will be of much help to telcos. Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio have sought a floor for data tariffs, but don't want voice to be regulated.
The telecom regulator in September had issued a discussion paper on deferring the implementation of the zero-interconnect usage charges (IUC) regime, saying that consumers are yet to migrate completely to data calls and that the imbalance in voice traffic between operators still exists.
Regulator Trai is taking a serious view of the free subscription offers to movie and music streaming services and many other consumer issues as part of efforts to drive in transparency in tariffs offered by mobile operators to their subscribers, especially in view of rising consumer complaints about misleading information in telecom ads.
Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel reported a combined loss of Rs 74,000 crore on Thursday. It is the biggest ever loss for both telecom firms, as they made provisions following the recent Supreme Court ruling on adjusted gross revenue (AGR). Will Voda Idea and Airtel weather this storm or will Indian Telecom Sector move towards a duopoly. ET's Gulveen Aulakh explains how bad the situation is for these companies. Watch
In the new recommendations issued Wednesday, TRAI has capped the total number of platform services to 3% of the total channel carrying capacity of the DTH player, subject to a maximum of 15 such channels. At present, Tata Sky alone has over 30 platform services, while Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV also have much more than 15 services.
COAI Director General Rajan Mathews said given the latest AGR judgement from the apex court and the sector's deep crisis, the older operators are unlikely to have the wherewithal to bid for spectrum. "If the auctions are indeed held, then the government should ensure there is no monopoly in acquisition of spectrum," Mathews added.