Trai rules that telecom operators can't discriminate against same category of subscribers on tariff

Trai said it has received complaints that some service providers are launching tariffs and "offering discriminatory tariff to individual customers."

Telecom service providers should not give any discriminatory tariff to the same category of subscribers and all plans should be reported to the regulator within seven days of its launch, the Indian telecom regulator said on Thursday.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) directed "to ensure that all the tariffs offered to the consumers shall be in accordance with the provisions of Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999, and shall not be discriminatory between the subscribers of the same class..."

It also sought that "every tariff that is offered to a customer is invariably reported to the Authority as per reporting framework under the forbearance regime unless an express exemption has been provided in the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 (as amended from time to time)."

TRAI noted that "clause 10 of the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999, provides that no service provider shall, in any manner, discriminate between subscribers of the same class and such classification of subscribers shall not be arbitrary" and warned that "different tariffs in the nature of Vertical Price Squeeze shall be a case of discriminatory tariff".

"The Authority while adopting the forbearance regime in tariff, has made it mandatory for all the service providers to file their tariffs with TRAI within seven working days from the date of implementation of the said tariff," the directive added.

The TRAI said it has received complaints that some service providers are launching tariffs without filing it "with Authority and offering discriminatory tariff to individual customers within the same class."

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