If anything, the high-voltage narrative of 2016 has left mobile subscribers craving for more in the coming year both in terms of tariffs which have touched new lows, and technology.
Telecom regulator TRAI has extended the last date for receiving comments from stakeholders on net neutrality to July 5
Telecom regulator TRAI issued pre-consultation paper on net neutrality, a topic that had kicked up dust earlier this year over platforms like Facebook's Free Basics and Airtel Zero as well as attempts to charge certain Internet services, including calls.
The process opens up scope for those applications or platforms that promise to provide free data without the intention of 'gate-keeping' consumers on content access.
"Welcome Trai's decision on differential pricing. Favours open and equal Internet," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her tweets.
In a notification, Trai said "interested stakeholders are invited to participate" in open house discussion on its consultation paper on 'Differential Prices for Data Services'. The event will be held at PHD House in New Delhi.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said some plans introduced in the recent past amount to differential tariff plans that offer zero or discounted tariffs to certain content of select websites or applications or platforms.
A DoT panel on net neutrality is learnt to have opposed projects like Facebook's Internet.org, which allow access to certain websites without mobile data charges, while suggesting that similar plans such as Airtel Zero be allowed with prior clearance from Trai.
Net neutrality implies equal treatment be accorded to all internet traffic and no priority should be given to any person or entity or company based on payment, which is seen as discriminatory.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that the "support" has come through SMSes and voice calls made as part of this campaign over the past week and "the entire mobile number database of supporters is auditable on request by the appropriate agency"
Assocham said it supports a "special type" of net neutrality and wants TRAI to frame rules that support investments and policy objectives of the country.
In the press conference held Friday, telecom service providers said they do not want all applications to be brought under a licensing regime.
There are rising concerns over maintaining equal access to Internet amid some service providers entering into tie-ups for offering free access to certain mobile apps and websites.
The group is of the view that the April 24 cut-off is "unreasonable and should be extended". It also wants the telecom regulator to bring out the document in regional languages as well.
Due to the outrage over social media, e-commerce major Flipkart has withdrawn from Airtel Zero. Meanwhile, Cleartrip, NDTV and Times Group have logged out from internet.org platform of Facebook, where Reliance Communication is a partner.
The common refrain among advocates of net neutrality is that violation of its principles is inherently anti-consumer and bad for competition. That may not be the case.
Details of the decision to withdraw from Internet.org, which was launched in February this year in India, could not come through as an e-mail query went unanswered.
Airtel Zero, as also similar services launched by Reliance Communications and Facebook, among others, have come under attack with critics slamming these as being against the 'net neutrality' regime.
Amid a raging debate over equal Internet access for all, online marketplace Flipkart on Tuesday said it will walk away from ongoing discussions with telecom service provider Airtel for their platform 'Airtel Zero'.
Net Neutrality, an widely debated issue globally, has in the past few days caught India's attention with politicians, corporate leaders and film stars taking to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to debate on the issue.
Airtel's move comes just a week after Trai released a consultation paper on proposed net neutrality guidelines.