The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued “Telecom Tariff (66th Amendment) Order, 2022 ( 1 of 2022)”.
The Authority has received references from consumers expressing concerns regarding the tariff offers of 28 days’ validity (or in multiples thereof) by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), rather than Tariff offerings having validity for 30 days or a month. The Authority has noted that, nevertheless, TSPs have been transparent in disclosing the validity period of the said tariff offers as 28 days etc. and have not attempted to market the same as monthly tariffs. At the same time, the Authority is conscious of the need to address consumer concerns and perceptions in this regard.
Accordingly, as per extant practice, a Consultation Paper on “Validity period of Tariff Offers” was issued by the Authority on 13 May 2021, seeking comments and counter comments from stakeholders. The details of the comments and counter- comments received are available on the TRAI website. The Authority has conducted an Open House Discussion (OHD) through video-conferencing mode on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper.
After considering the views of all stakeholders/ participants and analysis of international practice in this regard, the Authority has decided to insert sub-clauses (xi) and (xii) in clause 6 of the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999, after sub- clause (x) which are as under:
(xi) Every Telecom Service Provider shall offer at least one Plan Voucher, one Special Tariff Voucher and one Combo Voucher having a validity of thirty days.
(xii) Every Telecom Service Provider shall offer at least one Plan Voucher, one Special Tariff Voucher and one Combo Voucher which shall be renewable on the same date of every month.
With the enactment of the amendment, telecom consumers will have more options to choose service offerings of appropriate validity and duration. This would also facilitate consumers in making a more informed tariff-related choice. The Explanatory Memorandum attached with Amendment Order details the reasons and rationale for the Telecommunication Tariff (Sixty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2022.