New Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai is likely to revise upwards the impact its proposed minimum price for sale of spectrum will have on mobile telephone tariffs.
In a meeting with consumer groups on Wednesday, Trai chairman Rahul Khullar said, “It is not 1 paisa or 2 paise (increase) ... but also not 16 paise or 25 paise as projected by operators.”
The minimum price of airwaves proposed by Trai for pan-Indian operations is over Rs18,000 crore, around 10 times more than the amount paid by old operators.
It has also recommended to fix double of this amount as minimum price for the airwaves that existing telecom operators use to provide wireless services at the time of renewal of their licences.
Telecom operators have said that new prices recommended by Trai will lead to increase in existing tariff by up to 100%.
He assured consumer group lead by Consumer Online Foundation founder Bejon Misra that there are feeble chances of telecom operators increasing tariff.
“Service providers have been scaring government and consumers. Consumers will switch on to other network it they increase tariff and they will lose market share. For 3G every body paid same price but now they have reduced it (charges) by 70%,” Khullar is learnt to have said.
Trai chairman has been asked to make presentation before empowered group of ministers (eGoM) meeting on Thursday on the impact of minimum airwaves price recommended by it on tariffs, government revenue and future investment in the sector.
Khullar said that the analysis report will be made public after he finishes presentation before eGoM headed by home minister P Chidambaram.
The delegation, which also included representative of Consumer Coordination Council and Cell for Consumer Education and Advocacy, asked Trai chairman that in taking any step, the regulator should ensure that there is no tariff increase.