TRAI Wants Airtel To Justify Predatory Pricing; Issues Show Cause Notice To Telcos Over Call Drop!

If Airtel is unable to provide justifications, then a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day is applicable.


TRAI Asks Airtel To Explain Predatory Pricing

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI has finally rolled up their sleeves, as they mean business now. Real, hardcore, no-fluff business.

Within last 24 hours, two very crucial actions have been taken: Airtel has been issued notice over their predatory pricing, and a show cause notice to all telcos have been issued, over the issue of call drops.

Now, the ball lies in telcos’ court, and something interesting is bound to happen.

TRAI To Airtel: Explain Predatory Pricing, Please

Last month, TRAI issued several new clauses and rules to check predatory pricing by telecom operators and had announced strict fines.

Penalty up to Rs 50 lakh per tariff, per circle, has been announced.

Under this new rules, Airtel, India’s #1 telecom operator has been asked to explain their predatory tariffs in some circles. If Airtel is unable to provide justifications, then a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day is applicable.

As per a senior official from TRAI, complaints have been received against Airtel both from users, and other telcos. He said,

“Airtel has been asked to furnish details on the issue for nearly a month, but it has not responded despite several reminders, therefore a notice has been issued”

Another official said, “They  (Airtel) are evading us, and trying to defend by pointing that everybody is doing it. So, we have asked them why are you avoiding.”

Airtel has been asked what are these plans, for whom they were launched, where such plans were launched, why they were launched.

Airtel has acknowledged the receipt of this notice, and has said that they will “submit its reply as per timelines.”

Airtel is now bound to provide the answers or be ready for the penalty.

TRAI To All Telcos: Explain Call Drop To Us

Effective October 2017, TRAI had announced penalty of Rs 10 lakh per circle if a telecom provider is not able to meet the quality standards as prescribed in the rulebooks.

For the period between October to December, several telcos were found to be breaking the rules, and a show cause notice has been sent to the concerned telecom providers.

March 21st is the deadline, after which fine would be applied.

TRAI Chairman RS Sharma said,

“The January to March data is also expected to come next month, and this time, the financial disincentives could increase if one operator does not meet the benchmarks in two circles and defaults consecutively,”

The names of the telecom companies against whom the show cause notices are issued haven’t been mentioned, as TRAI doesn’t want to ‘name and shame’ them.

UP, Bihar, Delhi and Mumbai have been hailed as the grand central of call drops, and Idea and Reliance Communication (which has stopped their operations) had a very dismal record on this front.

We will keep you updated.

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