Telcos Want To Increase Tariffs; DoT Might To Approach TRAI


The Department of Telecommunication will likely ask TRAI views on tariffs of prepaid plans. This development comes soon after Vodafone-Idea claims that tariffs are below cost and needs to examine. Besides, the telecom operator wants DoT to increase the time period of payment of spectrum dues.

Telcos Want To Increase Tariffs; DoT Might To Approach TRAI

"We are currently examining the issue raised by Vodafone Idea but since tariffs are the domain of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), we will seek their inputs on Vodafone Idea's claims that the tariffs are below cost," a senior DoT official told ET.

The report said that all senior officials said that the Government wants four operators to operate in the country, i.e, three private and one public. In addition, the report claims that the Government wants to give relief to all telecom operators.

Vodafone-Idea Letter To DoT

Vodafone-Idea has also written a letter to the ministry requesting the extension of the time to clear the spectrum dues. India's third-largest telecom operator Vi wants DoT to extend the timeline until April 2023 to pay dues worth Rs. 8,292 crores related to spectrum.

"We would like the industry to have at least four players but Vodafone Idea must try and raise tariffs itself. Secondly, while Vodafone Idea claims that the tariffs are below cost, we will need to see the cost structures of other telcos as well," the official said.

The company recently said that it cannot raise tariffs unilaterally as its pricing comes in the premium category.

Vodafone-Idea No Plans To Subsidize Smartphones

Although it is struggling in the country, Vodafone-Idea has no plan to compete with Reliance Jio. The company said that it has no plans to subsidize smartphones to counter Reliance Jio's upcoming smartphone called the JioPhone Next.


"The best option for us to make decent smartphones available to our customer base is that if the OEMs, as well as NBFCs, allow our customers to purchase these smartphones in a manner which is financially suitable for them, which is by installments," Vodafone Idea MD Ravinder Takkar said.

It is worth noting that Vodafone-Idea is struggling in the Indian market, which is why it has approached DoT to come up with norms for the prices of the prepaid plans.

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