TRAI chief RS Sharma also said that telcos are “free to increase tariffs” and TRAI would not interfere in the tariff plans at all.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will submit its response to Vodafone Idea’s justification of its premium plan RedX, within a week, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma said.
Sharma, as per a report by Mint, said that the telecom company’s response is “under investigation” and is not about “gains and losses of a company”.
“The probe is about certain principles, and we are asking certain specific questions on the plan and the response has come recently,” he added.
Sharma added that the investigation was prompted as Vodafone challenged TRAI’s decision to withhold on-boarding of new customers with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
“They challenged our decision at TDSAT, which directed us to investigate it. Vodafone Idea has submitted the answers to our questions. We are examining them, and within a week, we will come out with the final response,” he stated.
He was also dismissive of fears that India’s telecom sector is moving towards a duopoly, as there are three private players and one state-run telco.
“It’s not a duopoly, it is actually a 3+1 market and we have a very robust market … I don’t agree to definitions of calling some operators weak and some strong. I think everybody is doing their best to provide services, so I am not really worried on that front,” he said.
Sharma also commented on telcos’ demands for increased tariff rates, saying that they are “free to increase tariffs” and “we are not interfering in the tariff plans at all.”
He noted that the prices have been under forbearance since long and TRAI is “not even thinking of forgoing” that policy.“It is the business of telecom operators, and increasing prices will be their decision. We don’t put any constraint on any particular plan of theirs, whether they want to increase or decrease it, they are free to do so,” he added.