Centre for Internet & Society

This section will deal with the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 which was issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, in order to put a cap on the call rates and other allied services.

The Tariff order mandates that transparency is tariff and consumer protection. The Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 has gone through numerous amendments due to changes in the technology and the competition in the market. The Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 has gone through 53 amendments as on October, 2012. The TRAI also has laid down tariff orders for broadcasting and cable services.

The main highlights of the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 are:

  • Review of Tariffs: The TRAI has the authority to review and modify the tariff of any telecommunication service.
  • Standard Package: The telecom service provider has to provide a standard package to all its consumers.
  • Limits on Tariff: In case there is a specific ceiling on the tariff of a certain telecommunication service, then the service provider has to fix any rate above that ceiling. Similarly, if the TRAI sets a tariff as the floor then the operator cannot provide such service below the rates specified by the authority.
  • Reporting Requirement: The telecom operator has to report to the TRAI about the introduction of tariff and the changes subsequent to it.
  • Transparency and Consumer Protection: Tariffs charged by the operators should be published along with the terms and conditions attached to it in a manner as prescribed by the TRAI from time to time. It should also project the tariffs in a comparison table and the charges to be paid by the subscriber vis-a-vis the specified standard packages.
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