TRAI prohibits discriminatory tariffs within same class of customers

Telecom regulator TRAI has come out with a new direction which mandates the telecom operators not to offer any discriminatory tariffs to the customers of same class or category. As per Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO) 1999 operators are not allowed to offer discriminatory tariffs between same class of customers but recently Reliance Jio through a complaint to TRAI accused Airtel of offering discriminatory offers to same class of customers without filing them with TRAI. As per TTO 1999 regulation it is necessary for operators to file every tariff within seven days from the date of implementation but TRAI received complaints that some operators are introducing new tariffs without notifying it . TRAI in its endeavor to bring transparency in tariffs and protect consumer interest has now through this direction, giving reference of TTO 1999 , ordered all telecom operators not to practice  discriminatory tariffs for same class of subscribers and report every tariff to TRAI within seven days of launch.

This direction will be seen as a blow to Airtel, the market leader in telecom space, as this issue was brought to notice to TRAI by its competitor Reliance Jio which accused it for offering discriminatory tariffs within same class. This direction has come just after TRAI has reconfirmed its stance to Department of Telecommunications(DoT) to penalize Airtel , Vodafone and Idea Cellular to the tune of Rs 3050 cr as it believes that they willfully avoided to provide adequate Points of Interconnection (PoI) to Reliance Jio treating the conduct as anti-competitive.

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