TRAI has released an amendment to the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999, that has now made it mandatory for all Telecom Service providers in India to offer per second billing. Although, most providers already have it, there was no rule making it mandatory for them to offer one second billing to mobile subscribers.
This amendment was a result of consultation paper released by TRAI and subsequent discussions with stakeholders regarding number of tariff plans a telecom operator should have. Currently operators have a cap of maximum 25 different tariff plans they can offer to consumers. TRAI considered 3 different points regarding mobile tariff plans:
- Whether one Standard Plan, for all Service Providers, particularly for a prepaid subscriber would be relevant in the present scenario of Indian telecom market.
- Whether existence of large number of tariff plans are beneficial for subscribers.
- Whether there is need for revising the existing cap of 25 tariff plans on offer
Based on the feedback from stakeholders, it was decided that a single standard plan for each operator was not feasible as it would detrimental to the needs of consumers who are so dynamic and segmented. Different tariff plans are created so that it will cater to different segments of consumers. Although the allowed 25 tariff plans are on the higher side, TRAI has decided not to make any changes to it.
Also, to ensure that per second billing, which has been very popular with Indian mobile subscribers, remains an assured alternative option for all subscribers,TRAI has decided to mandate that all service providers shall offer at least one pre-paid and one post-paid tariff plan with the pulse rate of one second for local and national long distance calls. The service providers will be at liberty to offer alternative tariff plans with any pulse rate within the overall ceiling of 25 tariff plans.
[TRAI TTO amendment PDF]