Our Bureau

New Delhi, Nov. 7

TELECOM regulator TRAI has intervened in the tariff schemes of Idea Cellular and Hutch that involved higher charges for calling MTNL and BSNL mobile subscribers.

"TRAI has intervened in the tariff schemes of Idea Cellular and Hutch which involved differential rates for calls terminated in the networks of private GSM operators. Idea and Hutch had classified subscribers who terminate calls on private GSM networks as a separate class of subscribers for the purpose of applying differential tariff," a TRAI statement said here.

TRAI viewed such classification as arbitrary and inconsistent with the provisions of Telecommunication Tariff Orders. "Clause 10 of the Telecommunication Tariff Orders (TTO), 1999 provides that no service provider shall discriminate between subscribers of the same class and such classification of the subscribers shall not be arbitrary."

Following TRAI's intervention, Idea and Hutch have withdrawn the differential tariffs and have reported compliance to the regulator. The differential structure came under question in an Idea Cellular plan where it charged 99 paise per minute for STD calls to any GSM mobile anywhere across the country, whereas calls to BSNL and MTNL mobile networks attracted charges of Rs 1.50, the sources said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 8, 2005)
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