Trai will conduct a specific audit on compliance with differential tariff orders

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI would also look into whether telcos are giving prices that haven’t been filed with the regulator and might be viewed as discriminatory and in violation of pricing guidelines, an official told ET on condition of anonymity.

According to a senior source, the telecom regulator will soon evaluate if operators are following its September 2021 regulation, which prohibits telcos and their channel partners from making any differential rate offers to entice users via the mobile number portability (MNP) route.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would also look into whether telcos are giving prices that haven’t been filed with the regulator and might be viewed as discriminatory and in violation of pricing guidelines, an official told ET on condition of anonymity.

Trai has asked its battery of empanelled auditors involved in telco metering and billing to submit proposals by June 10th, after which five auditors will be chosen.

“The special audit will determine if telecom service providers are complying with our September 2021 directive prohibiting MNP-specific rate offers,” the spokesman stated.

He added that the audit would check if just the rates disclosed to Trai by the carriers are available through their channel partners, distributors, retailers, and third-party apps. “The goal is to monitor telco compliance levels, prevent malpractices, and any type of undercutting,” the official explained.

The NHA CEO will raise the issue of poor connectivity in the Northeast with the TRAI and telecom authorities.

In September 2021, TRAI instructed operators to only provide tariffs that had been reported to the regulator and that were compliant with existing legislation and directives.

Its directive was issued in response to many complaints filed by all three telcos—Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea–against one another for creating discriminatory MNP-specific deals to attract customers.

Some telecoms claimed that channel partners had given unfair MNP-specific rate incentives to customers without their knowledge, according to Trai.

However, it later stated that because channel partners, distributors, retailers, and third-party apps are not licensed organizations, telecommunications solely must follow the regulatory regulations.

According to Trai, MNP-specific tariff offers violate Clause 10 of the Telecom Tariff Order-1999, which states that any offering of a differential tariff to subscribers porting from another service provider’s network is not a valid and reasonable classification, especially if the motive is to induce discriminatory churn from competitors’ networks.