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How "Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India" Is Not "Regulatory Body" But "Management Body" !

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India main profile is to recommend the best possible regulations which Department of Telecom should adopt for the best Telecom Services to Indian Citizen. TRAI seems to be in an impression that both the side of dice should be in their side. For the last many years, TRAI did nothing but recommended regulations to DoT to enforce on Telecom service providers which brought many companies on the brink of collapse.
The following are some of the regulation which indicate how TRAI recommended regulations which government implemented and in turn spoiled the growth prospect of Indian Mobile Service Operator and millions of job loss:
1. MVAS regulation : The MVAS regulation recommended by TRAI which government implemented killed mobile value added services. Due to regulation mobile operator lost more than $6 Bn per annum. It impacted the innovation attached with value added service and many companies closed their shop.
2. Mobile Number Portabiliy: Good thought but full of gaps were enforced. It helped users to misuse MNP and that inflicted billions of $ loss of revenue to mobile service provider.
3. National consumer preference registry : Good regulation to protect the privacy of Indian Telecom user but failed to draft it in manner where the other regulations are correlated. More than 161 million Indian users are registered under that but it's only a regulation while many ecosystem players are misusing it.
4. Deduction in roaming charges - When service providers are buying the license, spectrum then how come TRAI is deciding the price of roaming charges on behalf of service providers. When TRAI is enforcing the price then who is managing service providers
5. High cost of Spectrum price: TRAI recommended very high cost of spectrum all band without considering the ARPU generated through Indian users. TRAI is in opinion that Indian Telecom sector is nothing but at par with US or Europe or Japan and recommended exorbitant price for spectrum which brought service providers to a level that they are under heavy debt and finding it difficult to service their debt
6. Termination charges: TRAI decide the termination charges on behalf of service provider without having any understanding about the capex and opex attached with service providers based on their scale. Once government sold the license and spectrum then it should be service providers not the TRAI who should be taking the call.

There are endless example of their dictorial approach and above are few. Due to above great regulation implemention, service providers are collectively sitting on more debt than consolidated Industry revenue. At the same time Government is not realising that any trigger of debt servicing problem will impact Indian economy in cascaded form.
It's ironic that few knowledgeable people are managing the do's and don't of service provider then why service providers are spending billions of $ in management. Service providers should hand over the management of the company to TRAI so that government gets the credit of offering people friendly cheaper call to get the votes.
It's my personal opinion and if anyone disagree then they are free to comment.

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About Devendra Prasad

20 years plus industry veteran of domestic and international ICT domain with the expertise in Business, Technology, Strategy and Analysis. Specializes in forecasting impact analysis, trends and recommendations for Investments, Technology and Regulations.
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