The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed to remove 50 paisa charges on SMSes beyond 100 messages per day limit. The regulator had notified a minimum charge of 50 paisa to curb menace of pesky messages in its old tariff order in November 2012. Since then, the charges have remained same.
“With the introduction of TCCCPR (Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations) 2018, it is felt that regulation of tariff for SMS may not be required,” said TRAI in draft Telecommunication Tariff (65th Amendment) Order, 2020 (via PTI). “Accordingly, the draft Telecommunication Tariff (65th Amendment) Order, 2020 proposes withdrawal of regulatory provisions relating to tariff for SMS introduced by the Telecommunication Tariff (54th Amendment) Order.”
TRAI has asked telecom operators to comment on the revised order by March 3, and then the counter comments will be done by March 17. Meanwhile, the telecom regulator is facing the heat from DTH/ cable operators for the NTO 2.0 (New Tariff Order). The revised NTO 2.0 for broadcasters and cable/ DTH operators was proposed at the start of 2020, asking them to provide 200 FTA (free-to-air) channels at Rs 153.
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At present, the same offers only 100 FTA channels for a network capacity fee (NCF) levy of Rs 153 (Rs 130 excluding taxes). Not just that, TRAI also reviewed the pricing of channel bouquets compared to a la carte ones. The telecom regulator issued a statement noting that the a la carte channels offered by broadcasters can have maximum MRP of Rs 12, instead of Rs 19. TRAI had initially set January 15 as the deadline for broadcasters to announce their new pricing structure, but the matter went to court instead.