Trai to seek details of segmented offers from Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea

By: |
November 11, 2020 12:30 AM

As per a Trai official, the regulator is not going to send any fresh notices to the companies, but will just send a reminder to comply with the Supreme Court order within around 10 days.

Wireless subscription in urban areas rose to 62.4 crore at the end of August, while the same in rural areas decreased to 52.2 crore, it added.Wireless subscription in urban areas rose to 62.4 crore at the end of August, while the same in rural areas decreased to 52.2 crore, it added.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is set to send a reminder to Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea in the next few days to submit details of their segmented offers as directed by the Supreme Court.

In its verdict pronounced last week, the apex court had said Trai was well within its powers to ask for any information from the telecom operators with regard to their segmented offers (discounts which are not part of standard tariff packages). However, it said Trai should keep such information confidential, and it cannot be published or put it in the public domain like standard tariff packages.

As per a Trai official, the regulator is not going to send any fresh notices to the companies, but will just send a reminder to comply with the Supreme Court order within around 10 days. The authority is consulting its legal teams on the matter.

In 2018, the regulator had asked the telcos to stop offering segmented offers as they were discriminatory. The telecom operators, however, had wanted both: to offer segmented tariffs and not provide any details of it to Trai on the grounds of confidentiality.

In December 2018, Vodafone Idea and Airtel got relief from the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which had said that such offers have always been in force and could not be clubbed with regular tariff schemes that need to be reported to the regulator. The TDSAT had also said segmented offers are not discriminatory as made out by Trai as they are offered to a class or segment of subscribers, over and above a tariff scheme.

Trai had moved the Supreme Court against the TDSAT order, but the apex court had refused to stay the ruling. The regulator had then modified its order to seek information on segmented offers from the telcos for a limited period. Trai’s plea was opposed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea on the grounds that it would violate commercial confidentiality and help rivals poach their subscribers.

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