TRAI set to issue consultation paper on per-second billing proposals

6 Oct 2009

According to the Economic Times, the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has unveiled proposals that could see operators forced to bill subscribers on a per-second basis. ‘We plan to ask operators to charge customers on a per-second basis so that consumers can enjoy the benefit of paying only for their usage,’ said TRAI chairman JS Sarma of the plans, adding, ‘We will first issue a consultation paper on the subject. According to existing regulations, the TRAI can issue a directive only after seeking the industry’s view on the subject.’ No timeframe has been announced for the implementation of any new billing regulations, although it is understood that the TRAI consultation paper could be issued within the next month or two. Currently only Tata DoCoMo, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (which operates under the MTS India banner) and Aircel offer billing on a per-second basis, although the latter only follows this billing method in a few select circles. Investors in some of the country’s largest mobile network operators have expressed concern at the plans, especially in light of a study conducted in August 2009 that indicated the enforced introduction of per-second billing could see annual revenues fall by between 10% and 15%.