Cellular operators’ charges of favouritism baseless, says TRAI
Mumbai :India’s telecom regulatory authority, TRAI, on Wednesday said COAI’s allegations that its orders appeared to be favouring one operator are “baseless”, and cautioned the industry body against making unsubstantiated charges. TRAI Secretary SK Gupta asserted that the regulator functioned in a “transparent manner” and said that Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had “got into the habit of making allegations”. “There is no substance in the allegations that COAI has made. They are baseless,” Gupta told PTI. TRAI orders or regulations are preceded by detailed consultation papers and open house discussions with stakeholders, he said. Other details and nuances pertaining to various decisions are contained in the explanatory memorandum that accompanies TRAI orders, Gupta added. “It has become COAI’s habit to make allegations…They have made similar allegation against TRAI in the past also, and challenged TRAI order which they lost recently…They should refrain from making such statements,” he said. Meanwhile, industry body COAI on Wednesday said its members are evaluating legal options and may also approach the department of telecom and the prime minister’s office on their grievances against the regulator’s decision on predatory pricing. It has alleged that orders by TRAI have put all but one operator at a huge disadvantage and that its regulations had distorted the market. COAI has also alleged that TRAI’s orders appeared “to be strengthening the ambitions of one particular operator with deep pockets and monopolistic designs at the expense of other operators”, although it did not name anyone.