BSNL wants to give free call-data, but JIO against tariff war itself

  • TRAI seeks suggestions from telecom companies on the issue of fixing the minimum rate of call-data
  • BSNL, MTNL said- Rules not applicable to companies with less than 15% market share
  • Jio opposed this, they proposed to fix the minimum charge of 1 GB of data at Rs 20.

Reliance Jio, which started tariff war by providing free calls and data service, has been seen to be competitive, so it has turned against free service. This trend of Jio has come to light after a proposal of BSNL and MTNL preparing for revival with the efforts of the government. The two government companies have suggested to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that companies with less than 15% market share should be exempted from the minimum rate rules for phone calls and data. But, Jio has opposed it.

Telecom companies are now free to fix the call-data charge
As per TRAI’s December 2019 data, BSNL has 10.26% market share and MTNL 0.29% market share in mobile services. Jio had the highest share of 32.14%. As per the current rules, telecom companies are free to fix calls and data charges, but in view of the increasing competition, they have sought to intervene with TRAI in this matter and fix the minimum price. TRAI has sought opinion from concerned parties on this issue.

Data will be 5-10 times more expensive if TRAI listens to telecom companies
Right now 1 GB 4G data is available for less than Rs 3.5, but if the floor price is fixed on the demand of telecom companies, then its rate will increase by 5-10 times. Vodafone-Idea has proposed to fix the data price at least Rs 35 per GB. Bharti Airtel wants to fix Rs 30 per GB and Reliance Jio Rs 20. Vodafone-Idea says it will reach its revenue target three years after the minimum tariff starts.

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Revival of BSNL will be done soon: Telecom Minister
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the government is committed to the revival of BSNL. He informed that under the revival package of the company, one lakh employees have opted for the VRS scheme. The government approved the revival package of BSNL and MTNL on October 23 last year.

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