TRAI has made some major decisions which have deeply impacted the Telecom, DTH industry and the subscribers in the past few months.
TRAI Tariff Regime
TRAI tariff regime which went into effect earlier this year. When TRAI tariff regime went into implementation, every Subscribers / TV Viewers who had a television was impacted by the decision of TRAI. Whether it was cable or DTH subscriber, the customers were asked to migrate to the new framework and select their channels as they wanted. A lot of subscribers found that their TV bill had increased up by quite a margin after shifting to the new Trai tariff regime.
Now, there was a little increase in the TV bills, which was mainly because the subscribers had made channel selections similar to their previous subscription and not considered adding only those channels which they watched. There was also more transparency and the flexibility with the subscribers to choose their own channels.
Not only this but because of the bundling of channels which was done by Broadcasters & DPOs, the subscribers were also exposed to a bunch of new small channels which they were not aware of before. This also availed new content to these customers while also getting these broadcasters more viewership. Therefore, in the form of changed bills, increased transparency, and better quality of service from the DTH & Cable TV operators, the TRAI tariff regime has certainly impacted the subscribers of the DTH industry.
TRAI Decision of Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC)
Now, this is much recent news and although TRAI decided on it two years back, in 2017, the decision has been showing its impact on the prepaid subscribers right now. To recall, back in 2017, TRAI had decided that it would lower the IUC charges by a whopping 56% by bringing it down to 6 paise per minute from the previous set tariff of 14 paise per minute. This was done back then to kickstart a shift towards a Zero IUC regime which was supposed to happen on 1st January, 2020. But, now it seems that TRAI could likely delay the transition to the zero-IUC regime by a couple more years.
The impact of this has especially being seen by the Reliance Jio subscribers who will now be charged by the 6 paise per minute IUC on every call that they make from their Reliance Jio number to a number on some other network. Although this move has not been introduced by the other telecom operators, but given that Reliance Jio boasts of having more than 30 Crores subscribers in India, a substantial number of prepaid subscribers have been impacted by this move.