Indian regulator amends monthly telecom tariff pack order

Indian regulator amends monthly telecom tariff pack order

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ordered that every telecom service provider (TSP) offering at least one ‘Plan Voucher’, one ‘Special Tariff Voucher (STV)’, and one ‘Combo Voucher’ renewable on the same date of every month.

The regulator noted that if the date of such renewal is not available in a month, the renewal shall be the last date of that month.

After due consideration, the Authority has decided to issue the “Telecom Tariff (67th Amendment) Order, 2022 (02 of 2022),” after 60 days from the date of commencement of this Order.

Following industry representations, TRAI clarified that in case the same date for such renewal is not available in a month, the date of renewal will be the last date of that month.

The regulator added the clause: "Every telecom service provider shall offer at least one plan voucher, one special tariff voucher, and one combo voucher which shall be renewable on the same date of every month, and if the date of such renewal is not available in a month, the date of renewal shall be the last date of that month."

For example, if the date of renewal is January 31, the next date of recharge will be February 28 or 29 (depending on whether or not it is a leap year), and the subsequent dates will be March 31, April 30, and so on.

Currently, TSPs such as Airtel and Vodafone Idea, provide recharge packages with validities of 24 days, 28 days, 56 days, and 84 days, among others. As of now, there is no recharge that can cover the whole month of 30 days or 31 days.

Customers have been complaining that with the monthly validity of 28 days, they have to do 13 recharges in 12 months. To sort out this issue, Trai came out with a directive in January. TRAI then mandated that every telecom company must include at least one PV, one STV, and one CV with 30 days’ validity among its tariff offers. Now, there was confusion in the case where recharge is done on the 31st of a month and the same date is not available in the next month. Providing clarity on this, Trai revised the order now.

The telecom regulator has provided another 60 days to comply with the fresh directive.

India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio launched INR 259 (USD 3.42) plan with a calendar month validity earlier this week, to help prepaid users remember just one recharge date every month.

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