New Delhi, Sept. 13: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today asked mobile operators to provide cellphones as part of their tariff plans.
The regulator also promised to examine the issue of removing the cost of purchasing and selling mobile handsets from total revenue calculations as this increases the amount of revenue share telecom firms have to give to the government.
Trai chairman Pradeep Baijal said, “The telecom subscriber base continues to grow at a faster pace. During August all the operators added 1.9 million subscribers maintaining the one million plus growth for the second consecutive month.”
“This growth will help us achieve the 100 to 150 per cent growth in the telecom sector and particularly in mobile telephony,” Baijal said.
The total addition to the subscriber base for cellular and basic services together in the first five months of 2003-04 is estimated to be at about 8.6 million compared with 2.49 million subscribers during the corresponding period last year. This implies the number of subscribers has increased by about 3.5 times.
Baijal said, “If a similar growth trend is maintained during the year, the total addition to subscriber base during the year will exceed 20 million, this would result in a gross subscriber base of cellular and basic services of more than 70 million by end of this financial year.”
Commenting on the problems of the operators due to lack of spectrum rights made available to them, Vinod Vaish, secretary, department of telecommunications said, the operators should not worry about the allocation of spectrum as the wireless planning commission would soon draw up a plan for speedy disbursement.