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TRAI favours cap on number of tariff plans

TRAI said while a variety of choice for users would be a welcome development, too many plans confuse the customers.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2004 13:50 IST

With as many as 3925 tariff plans being reported to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India by basic and mobile players just in 2003, the regulator on Monday released a consultation paper on limiting the number of tariff plans offered by service providers.

"Frequent revision and withdrawal of tariff plans add to the confusion of customers. A possible way of addressing the problems without curtailing the flexibility granted to the operators or hampering the competition could be to place a suitable cap on the number of tariff plans that the service providers can offer," TRAI said in a statement in New Delhi.

The main issues the consultation process would cover include the number of plans to be permitted, the identification of service segments for the application of the proposed cap, desirability of having minimum validity period of tariff plans and the criteria in respect of tariff topping and promotional offers.

TRAI contended that while a variety of choice for users would be a welcome development, too many plans confuse the customers and render informed choice very difficult.

"At the end of September 2003, a total of 1421 plans were on offer all over India, suggesting that on an average 42 plans per circle were offered. In addition, another 500 plans were offered as promotional schemes. The figures are likely to go up soon with entry of additional operators in several circles," TRAI said.

The authority has sought comments from stakeholders on this issue by March 27.

First Published: Mar 08, 2004 13:42 IST