Telcos raise app-based calling, infrastructure issues with TRAI

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

RS Sharma, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Operators call for rationalisation of taxes under GST

Executives of telecom companies, in a meeting with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Tuesday, raised various pain points that are adversely impacting their business, including app-based calling, rationalisation of taxes and infrastructure expansion.

The meeting was part of TRAI’s annual interaction with service providers to decide the agenda of activities to be undertaken by the regulator in the coming year.

The operators also called for a spectrum policy to make the industry aware in advance about auction of frequency bands.

“We had a very fruitful discussion with the industry players. They were unanimous on some of the issues that TRAI should deal with in this year, such as OTT (over-the-top) consultation, one country one licence, infrastructure-related issues, rationalisation of taxes under GST... There were 6-7 issues that they want the regulator to look into,” said R S Sharma, Chairman, TRAI.

He said telecom is a big enabler for industry in the country and forms the basic infrastructure on which growth and development of the country depends, and therefore should be reflected in the National Telecom Policy, 2018.

“They (telecom operators) will give us details of the issues in a couple of days, after which TRAI will be able to share a specific roadmap,” Sharma said, adding that the operators also asked for consultation around mobile number portability and unsolicited commercial calls.

Talking about the call drop report, he said, “We will publish a performance report by the end of this month.” The report may come under the purview of the new quality of service norms, and the regulator will compile the performance reports based on that data.

TRAI assured the service providers present at the meeting that it is already looking into most of the issues raised by the industry and will initiate a consultation process on each of the identified issues at an appropriate time.

“This (annual meet) is a vital exercise to identify the issues affecting the telecom sector at large and to discuss TRAI’s role in addressing the issues that it regulates presently or proposes to regulate in future,” said SK Gupta, Secretary, TRAI.

Published on January 23, 2018

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