With consumers increasingly complaining about their mobile data speed, telecom regulator Trai on Thursday floated a consultation paper on the subject, where it wants to discuss issues such as non-disclosure of certain service provisions and use of misleading advertisements by telecom operators.
Through the consultation paper — Data Speed under Wireless Broadband Plans — the Authority intends to take inputs from stakeholders on how to ensure transparency and customer awareness on data speeds under wireless (mobile) broadband plans.
“The surge in the number of broadband connections in the country has been accompanied by increasing reports of consumer dissatisfaction with the speed of data being provided to them under wireless broadband plans,” Trai said.
Explaining the rationale behind floating the paper, Trai said ideally a dissatisfied customer can opt for another telecom operator using mobile number portability, but the ability of consumers to make rational and informed decisions in this regard is, however, constrained by several factors.
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The regulator said non-disclosure of provisions of services like data speed, contract terms and latency are a matter of concern for consumers, which influence their satisfaction.
Referring to misleading ads, Trai said, “The widespread imposition of download limits or caps expressed in MB or GB does not give consumers a clear understanding of how much content they can actually download. The use of misleading ads further compounds these problems. Use of terms like ‘up to’ for data speed has become a common occurrence although the theoretical speeds are rarely delivered”.
It also said at present service providers are selling SIM cards in the name of 2G/3G/4G, however, no speed whatsoever is being guaranteed by them.