TRAI considers survey to asses if tariff plans meet customer needs

Greater Kashmir

Telecom regulator TRAI is planning to conduct a consumer-facing survey to assess if tariff plans offered by operators are meeting actual requirements of varied categories of users, a top official said.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) may rope in an agency to conduct the survey for it. The survey is expected to start soon, said a TRAI official privy to the development. While telecom tariffs are under forbearance, the sector regulator will assess if plans currently being offered in the market are consumer-oriented, the official told PTI.

The tariffs plans need to cater to actual needs of consumers, those looking for voice as well as those who have data requirements. The idea is to ensure that consumers are not being nudged towards a particular type of tariff plan.

The concern is whether certain packs in market tend to be similar, despite requirements being very different, for different categories of users, including feature phone users.

TRAI may rope in an agency to conduct the survey, which is expected to initially focus on consumers in small pockets.

The modalities, including medium of conducting the survey, will be worked out in coming days. Asked about the trigger for the survey and if TRAI had noted any ambiguities, the official said overall the role of the regulator is to keep a watch on the market to ensure that the sector is functioning smoothly, and consumer interests are being addressed. At present, the tariffs are under forbearance, meaning that operators virtually have a free hand in fixing the rates and report plans to TRAI in seven working days of launch.