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TRAI says claims on charges for holding multiple SIMs 'baseless': Here's what its consultation paper said

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's recent consultation paper suggested that it may be prudent to consider charging the TSPs with a nominal fee against numbering resources allocated. However, TRAI has now called reports baseless.

Written By: Om Gupta New Delhi Updated on: June 14, 2024 18:26 IST
TRAI
Image Source : FILE TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) stated on Friday that the claims of charging customers for holding multiple SIMs or numbering resources are completely false and baseless. These claims only serve to mislead the public. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which is the sole custodian of telecommunication identifiers (TI) resources, reached out to TRAI on September 29, 2022, seeking its recommendations on the revised National Numbering Plan. This request aims to ensure efficient management and judicious utilisation of numbering resources in the country.

Accordingly, the Consultation Paper (CP) of TRAI on the revision of the National Numbering Plan (NNP) was issued to evaluate all current factors affecting the allocation and utilisation of TI resources.

"TRAI has consistently been advocative of minimum regulatory intervention promoting forbearance and the self-regulation of market forces," said the telecom regulator.

"We unequivocally repudiate and emphatically condemn any spurious conjectures that perpetuate the circulation of such misleading information concerning the consultation paper at hand," it added.

The TRAI also urged all stakeholders and the general public to refer to the official press release and consultation paper issued by it through its website for accurate information.

There were reports stating that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed a new regulation that would allow users to introduce fees for mobile and landline numbers. The regulator released a consultation paper on June 6, 2024, which mentioned that in some countries worldwide, the allocation of numbering resources is done on a chargeable basis, covering various categories such as mobile numbering resources, vanity numbers, and numbers for national interest.

The paper further said that while a portion of the revenue generated from number sales is contributed as a percentage of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), the aforementioned practices can lead to inefficient utilisation of numbering resources and hoarding of numbering resources by the service providers. 

Therefore, the paper suggested that it may be prudent to consider charging the Telecommunications Service Providers (TSPs) with a nominal fee against numbering resources allocated. Some possible mechanisms for charging these resources include imposing a one-time charge per number or per numbering resource block being allocated, or imposing an annual recurring charge for each numbering resource allocated to the service provider, including de-activated numbers of prior allocation but pending reuse.

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Inputs from IANS

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