New Delhi: Telecom regulator TRAI initiated a discussion on 7 May, on allowing subscribers of one operator to choose another operator for making long-distance (STD and ISD) calls, a move that would feed competition and improve quality of services.
TRAI issued a consultation paper seeking views from all stakeholders on ‘carrier selection’ that includes the possibility of allowing long-distance service providers to issue calling cards.
“When implemented, carrier selection offers customer the capability of selecting the long distance carrier for their STD/ISD calls. This would help the customer in selecting services provider best suited to their specific needs, particularly in terms of price and quality,” TRAI said.
This is the second time TRAI has initiated the process to allow subscribers to choose service providers. Last time, the regulator had consulted the industry in December 2001 but the proposal could not be implemented as state-owned BSNL was not ready to offer such facility.
The main reasons for the non-implementation seemed to be the cost of implementation and non-availability of proper billing system with BSNL. To ensure level playing field, TRAI had then deferred implementation of carrier selection by all other service providers.
“A number of developments have taken place since the last consultation to make the environment quite different from what existed then,” TRAI said, adding that all the service providers have become competitive in terms of both price and quality and they can now move to next stage of offering choice of operators to their customers.