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TRAI denies it intends to impose charges for holding multiple SIMs

TRAI has clarified that the speculation that the regulator intends to charge customers for holding multiple SIMs/numbering resources is unequivocally false. It had come to TRAI’s attention that some media houses (print, electronic, and social media) reported that TRAI has proposed introducing fees for mobile and landline numbers, with an aim to ensure the efficient allocation and use of these ‘finite resources.’

It was claimed that TRAI wants a separate charge for using multiple phone or landline numbers. The reports claimed that the regulator would impose the charge on telecom operators first and then on the users.

TRAI had released a consultation paper on ‘Revision of National Numbering Plan’ on June 6, 2024. Written comments on the aforementioned consultation paper have

been invited from the stakeholders by July 4, 2024, and counter comments by July 18, 2024.

The DoT being the sole custodian of telecommunication identifiers (TI) resources, had approached TRAI through its reference dated 29 September 2022, seeking recommendations of TRAI on revised National Numbering Plan for undertaking efficient management and judicious utilization of numbering resources in the country. Accordingly, this Consultation Paper (CP) of TRAI on revision of National Numbering Plan (NNP) was issued with an aim to assess all factors currently affecting the allocation and utilization of Telecommunication Identifier (TI) resources. It also aims to propose amendments that would refine allocation policies and utilization procedures, thereby ensuring a sufficient reserve of TI resources for present and future requirements.

The TRAI’s consultation process is founded on principles of transparency and inclusivity, involving the publication of consultation papers, solicitation of stakeholder comments, study/analysis of international best practices associated with the consultation at hand and facilitation of open house discussions—all conducted in the public domain. The final recommendations offered by TRAI to DoT is a fallout of due diligence and deliberate analysis and is mostly in consonance with logical conclusions inferred out of aforesaid activities.

TRAI has consistently been advocative of minimum regulatory intervention promoting forbearance and the self-regulation of market forces. “We unequivocally repudiate and emphatically condemn any spurious conjectures that perpetuate the circulation of such misleading information concerning the consultation paper at hand, “ said the TRAI note.

CT Bureau

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