COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) has requested TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to review its orders again on prohibiting the differential pricing of mobile data based on the content and allow the companies to set the price of content irrespective of services offered within or outside their networks.
The Director General of COAI, Rajan S Mathews wrote a letter to Secretary of TRAI, Sudhir Gupta saying, “Developing applications/ Products / Platforms / VAS requires a huge resources, investments, and innovations. It would be totally unfair if any of these products are found violating TRAI’s regulation unintentionally. The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have made huge investments, spent crucial time, and made hard efforts and it will go waste.”
This request has come from the operators who have been approached by the content providers for subsidizing their content, but still provide the exclusivity on closed e-communications network as labeled by Sectoral Regulator.
COAI said that in such cases, a few of the content providers may share their advertising revenue and will seek the clarity from the regulator. For an instance, TRAI granted permission to Bharti Airtel previous month. The firm said that it is close to tying up with the US based global content provider that will be offering video content to Airtel users on an exclusive basis within its network.
The COAI’s request and Bharti’s letter follows the TRAI’s order in February that stopped the operators on providing differential pricing for content to their subscribers. However, the regulator permitted the operators to provide and price the content to consumers in their network.