Tag Archives: TRAI

non discriminatory tariff

TRAI has issued a directive on 2nd September, 2021 asking TSP (Telecom Service Provider) to adhere to the TRAI guidelines, regulations in the matter of tariff.

There shall be no discrimination between subscribers of the same class, and the classification, if any, ,shall not be arbitrary;

Classification between subscribers should be on the basis of intelligible eligibility criteria;

There should not be differential tariff to subscribers porting from a different network;

Channel partners/ retailers/ distributors/ third party apps are unlicensed service providers and they are the responsibility of the TSPs and it is the TSPs who are responsible to ensure that the channel partners etc. adhere to the TRAI guidelines on tariff.

Only the tariffs reported to the TRAI are offered through their channel partners etc.

All tariff offers should comply with the extant TRAI guidelines/ regulations in this regard and where the name/ brand of TSP is being used in marketing and selling of products and services, it is the responsibility of TRAI to ensure that the guidelines are fully adhered to.

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IRDAI advisory reg pesky calls

IRDAI has issued an advisory to all the insurance companies to follow the TRAI guidelines regarding unsolicited commercial communications to the general public. It has said that all insurance companies should register themselves with their respective telecom service providers and also register the template of the message to be sent out. Gist of circular follows:

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TRAI advisory on pesky SMS menace

TRAI press release dated 23rd March, 2021 has advised big banks and tele marketers to register their message template with the authorities. Gist of their press release follows:

TRAI has issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (“TCCCPR, 2018) on
19th July, 2018, to curb the menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC), which put in place a framework for controlling UCC. The regulations entirely came into force w.e.f. 28.02.2019. Since, then TRAI has been through,
Telecom Service Providers (TSP), communicating with the Principal Entities to fulfill the regulatory requirements.

  1. As per the provisions of the regulation and Code(s) of Practices published by the Access Providers, senders (OTP, Transactional messages, Service messages or commercial messages) are required to fulfil regulatory requirements for sending bulk communication. The regulatory provisions not only help in preventing spam but also help in preventing fraudulent messages purporting to originate from banks, financial institutions, or other trusted sources. It also helps the Principal Entities to enhance it reach by registering the consent of the customers.
  2. In compliance of provisions of the regulations, when SMS scrubbing was activated by the Access Providers w.e.f. 8th March, 2021, some failure of A2P SMS traffic was observed. It was observed that some of the principal entities have not fulfilled the requirements as envisaged TCCCPR, 2018, even after two years, despite being fully aware of the regulations and the consequences. In order to protect the interest of consumers, TRAI had to request TSPs to temporarily suspend the scrubbing of SMS for seven days to enable the principal entities to register the template of SMS so that no inconvenience is faced by the customers.
    4 Thereafter, since 17th March 2021, Access Providers has activated the content template scrubbing. However, to avoid inconvenience to the public, trafic is being allowed to pass for the time being, even if, it is not fulfilling the
    regulatory requirements. Major reasons observed for not meeting the regulatory compliance are content template not registered, content Id missing, mismatch in template registered and message sent etc. Unfortunately, despite of repeated communication, all major banks and big telemarketers sending SMS have failed to fulfill regulatory requirements. All are being notified individually also. TRAI has called for further reports from TSPs.
  3. TRAI hereby, once again requests all the Entities who are using the telecom resources to send bulk messages to the consumers, to fulfill the regulatory requirements immediately so that there would not be any disruption in the communication to the customers.


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SEBI advise to curb bulk SMS menace

SEBI press release dated 23rd March, 2021 advising market intermediaries to follow TRAI norms while sending bulk SMS to its customers. The market entities have to follow certain norms of TRAI in terms of registering with the telecom service providers and also register the template of the message.

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Multi-system operators

TRAI press release dated 22nd July, 2019

New Delhi: 22nd July 2019- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today released its recommendations on “Entry level Net-worth requirement of Multi System Operators (MSOs) in Cable TV Services”. A Multi System Operator (MSO) is an authorized service provider, providing cable TV services to its subscribers. The Rule 11(3) of Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 prescribes the criteria of the applicant for grant of MSO registration.
2. In this regard, a reference was received from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) vide its letter dated 16th May, 2018 seeking recommendations of TRAI on the appropriate levels for fixation of entry level net-worth of the Multi System Operators (MSOs) for operationalizing cable TV digitization across the country. Further details of the reference were shared by MIB vide its letter dated 13thDecember 2018.
3. In order to deliberate on various aspects related to the matter and to seek inputs from the industry stakeholders on relevant issue, the Authority issued a detailed Consultation paper on “Entry Level Net Worth for MSOs in Cable TV Services”, on 9thApril 2019. Subsequently, an open house discussion was held on 11thJune 2019, in Delhi, to seek the further views of the stakeholders on various issues.
4. Based on the comments of the stakeholders received during the above-mentioned
consultation process and its own analysis, the Authority has finalized its recommendations on “Entry Level Net Worth requirement for MSO in Cable TV Services”. The Authority has noted that the New Regulatory Framework provides an enabling environment for Small and Medium MSOs and up scaling of LCOs to MSO. To highlight the measures that enable small and medium MSOs the Authority has published a white-paper on ‘Benefits of the New Framework for Small MSOs'(https://main.trai.gov.in/sites/ default/files/WhitePaper 23042019.pdf) in April 2019.
5. After careful consideration the Authority has recommended that,’ … there is no necessity for fixation of a minimum entry level net worth for MSO registration. As at present, any individual, company, Corporate firm or LLP that fulfils provisions of the Cable TV Rules may be granted MSO registration.

6. The full text of the recommendations is available on TRAI’s website: http://www.trai.gov.in. For any clarification/information, Shri Ani! Kumar Bhardwaj, Advisor (B&CS)-II may be contacted at Tel. No. +91-11-23237922.

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Quality of Service under Digital Cable TV systems

TRAI has issued an advisory dated 1/10/2015 to the MSOs under the Quality Service Regulation for DAS (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) that every MSO or its linked LCO, as the case maybe, shall within 24 hours of the receipt of complaint pertaining to malfunctioning of a set top box from a subscriber ensure that the set top box is repaired or replaced with a new Set Top Box if it is covered within the warranty or it has been acquired by the subscriber on hire purchase scheme or on rental basis. These standards are covered in the “STandards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems), REgulations, 2012. TRAI suggests that for adhering to the 24 hours deadline, spare set top boxes may be provided by the MSOs to the LCOs in their jurisdiction.

MCOs are also requested to lay down proper communication procedures to register complaints through LCOs and get them redressed on priority basis.

TRAI circular is available at the TRAI site.

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TRAI issues consultation paper on call drops

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a Consultation Paper on compensation to the consumers in the event of dropped calls for comments of the stakeholders. Call drop represents the service provider’s inability to maintain a call once it has been correctly established i.e. calls dropped or interrupted prior to their normal completion by the user, the cause of the early termination being within the service provider’s network.

In the past one year, consumers, at various fora, have raised the issue of call drops, complaining that their experience of making voice calls has deteriorated. In order to assess the problem, TRAI, in the months of June/ July, 2015, conducted special drive-tests on certain routes of Mumbai and Delhi, in which, it was found that Call Drop Rate of most of the telecom service providers (TSPs) were higher than the permissible limit of ~2% set by the Authority. TRAI has prescribed financial disincentives on TSPs for failure to meet the quality of service benchmarks (including call drop) so as to strengthen the effectiveness and compliance of the regulations.

TRAI is of the view that the problem of call drops needs to be examined in its entirety and requires adoption of a multi-pronged approach. It is also considering to make it mandatory for the TSPs to make periodic disclosures about their network capacities and the steps taken to optimize their networks to address the problem of call drops. On the lines of Independent Drive Tests (IDT) undertaken in the cities of Mumbai and Delhi in June/July, 2015, the Authority would be conducting such tests across various cities in the country.

While all these steps are being contemplated, the Authority cannot remain a silent spectator to the problem of call drops encountered by the consumers. In this background, TRAI has issued a consultation paper on the issue of call drops and various possible methods for compensating the consumers for call drops, namely: (i) Provision of not charging for the dropped calls (a) consumers should not be charged for a call that got dropped within five seconds (b) In addition, if the call gets dropped any time after five seconds, the last pulse of the call (minute/second) which got dropped should not be charged. (ii) Provision of providing credit to the consumers for dropped calls (a) Credit of talk-time in minutes/ seconds, or (b) Credit of talk-time in monetary terms.

This is the gist of the press release issued by TRAI on 4th September, 2015. Call drops are rampant not only in closed areas inside office complexes but also while walking in the open in areas such as Churchgate, Nariman Point etc. While on the one hand TSPs allege that call drops are a direct result of the dismantling of the various towers atop residential buildings due to radiation fears, there is no direct or causal link between the telecom towers and cancer arising out of radiation from these towers.

The consultation paper is available on the TRAI website.

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