Trai in undue haste to decide on IUC: COAI

By: | Published: July 20, 2017 5:33 AM

COAI has also requested that the open house discussion convened by Trai on July 20 be postponed by four weeks.

COAI , IUC, TRAIThe COAI has also requested that the open house discussion (OHD) convened by Trai on July 20 be postponed by four weeks. (Reuters)

Telecom operators’ body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is showing “undue haste” in concluding the review of the interconnect usage charge (IUC), a key component of mobile tariffs, and has urged the regulator to provide the operators with the past and current models used in calculating the mobile termination charges.

The COAI has also requested that the open house discussion (OHD) convened by Trai on July 20 be postponed by four weeks as the operators would need time to study the cost models that the authority has used to calculate the IUC, a source said.

In a letter to Trai chairman RS Sharma, COAI director general Rajan S Mathews urged the regulator, “To share the cost models, along with assumptions, used by it in the last IUC consultation process and the one proposed to be used by Trai in the current IUC consultation with the stakeholders in a transparent manner”.

COAI has said the regulator has “continuously” ignored the request for sharing the cost model with the stakeholders as well as scheduling the OHD in quick succession after a review meeting on Tuesday. Trai had held a review meeting with the telecom operators on July 18 on the IUC regime. “We are surprised that the Trai is acting in undue haste to conclude the review of the IUC,” Mathews wrote in the letter, which was seen by FE.

He further said the process is being followed “mechanically” to comply with the procedural requirements for framing the regulation under the Trai Act, rather than sharing the models with the stakeholders followed by detailed discussions, agreement and finally coming up with the regulation, which is a “clear requirement” under the Trai Act and the directions given by the Supreme Court.

COAI also said Jio and Aircel have a “divergent view” on postponing the OHD and will make separate representations to the authority. A Trai spokesperson, however, said the OHD will be held as scheduled on Thursday.

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