All telecom companies have stopped unlimited free calling from 3 December. Simultaneously, companies have set a limit for free calling on other networks. Not only this, but telecom companies have also increased the rates of their prepaid plans. Now the telecom companies are ready to give another blow to the users. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and Reliance Jio have proposed floor pricing for the telecom regulator TRAI for data service. In a letter submitted to TRAI, COAI Director General Ranjan Mathews said that at present, no telecom companies are likely to improve their tariffs amid competition going on in the market. In such a case, the regulator can set a minimum tariff for mobile data.
Mobile data and voice service have become a means of the need for users. In such a situation, the regulator will have to set the tariff based on the predecessor, keeping in view the current situation. The letter said that the cost of mobile data in India is up to 50 times less than in other developed or developing countries. Telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and Reliance Jio fully agree that TRAI should set a floor price for mobile data as well.
COAI ie Cellular Operators Association of India works as a representative of telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, Reliance Jio, BSNL, and MTNL. In his letter, Ranjan Mathews wrote that TRAI has to ensure that the tariff is regulated as soon as possible so that the telecom industry continues to grow. At this time the telecom sector owes around Rs 7.5 lakh crore. The pressure on the sector has increased even more recently after the Supreme Court's decision on AGR. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-idea together have incurred a loss of Rs 75,000 crore in the quarterly results released in September. If you look at TRAI's data, ARPU (user on average revenue) of telecom companies has reached Rs 80 per month, which was Rs 141 per month in 2010. The ARPU had come down to Rs 117 in 2017, which has now come down significantly.