Airtel has furnished details for December 2018 onward, while Trai has sought the information for a longer period. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

TRAI To Ask Bharti Airtel To Furnish Details Of Tariff Offers In ‘Stipulated Format’

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India plans to ask Bharti Airtel Ltd. to submit additional details on segmented or concessional offerings it made to customers. It will also insist that information furnished adheres to its “prescribed format”, a person familiar with the matter has said.

TRAI had in April asked telecom operators to submit information on concessional offers released between April 2018 and March 2019. While Airtel has shared some details, Vodafone Idea Ltd. sought two more weeks to submit the same.

A TRAI official privy to the development said Airtel has merely mentioned the number of segmented offers given in a month, but added that the regulator wants the information segregated circle-wise and co-related with the existing tariff plans.

Airtel has furnished details for December 2018 onward, while TRAI has sought the information for a longer period, the official said.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea has sought two more weeks to submit the required information citing its recent merger and the amount of information involved.

Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea declined to comment on queries sent to them via email.

According to the person quoted above, TRAI would like to have access to information on concessions being given to subscribers by operators, for its record.

“The operators are not putting it (segmented offer details) in public domain, nor are they filing those offers...so they have to tell us, in each plan how many segmented offers have been made,” the official said.

The telecom tribunal had in December last year set aside TRAI's rule on predatory pricing as also its regulation that required firms to report all segmented offers.

However, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal had said that TRAI can seek details of any segmented offer about which it may have received complaints and can even examine whether such offers for existing customers are actually non-discriminatory.

Subsequently, in April this year, TRAI directed operators to submit before it details in a set format that entailed rates, terms and conditions of the scheme, quantum of service that customers will get, name of the plan, validity and benefits available to the subscriber under the plan in which the segmented offer has been given.

TRAI directed telecom firms to share with it the number of subscribers at the end of each month who have availed the segmented offers within each tariff plan.

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