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  1. 1. lR;eso t;rs Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (ISO 9001 : 2000 Certified Organisation) Annual Report 2008-2009 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (ISO 9001 : 2000 Certified Organisation)
  2. 2. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (ISO 9001:2000 Certified Organisation) Annual Report 2008-09 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Mahanagar Doorsanchar Bhawan, Jawhar Lal Nehru Marg, (Old Minto Raod), New Delhi-110002 Telephone : +91-11-2323 3466, 2322 0534, 2321 3223, 23236308 Fax No: +91-11-23213294, E-mail : ap@trai.gov.in Website : http://www.trai.gov.in Annual Report 2008-09 i
  3. 3. ii Annual Report 2008-09
  4. 4. Letter of Transmittal To the Central Government through Hon’ble Minister of Communications and Information Technology It is my privilege to forward the 12 th Annual Report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to be laid before each House of Parliament. The report is for the year 2008-09. Included in this report is the information required to be forwarded to the Central Government under the provisions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, as amended by TRAI (Amendment) Act, 2000. The report contains an overview of the Telecom Sector and a summary of the key initiatives of TRAI on the regulatory issues with specific reference to the functions mandated to it under the Act. The Audited Annual Statement of Accounts of TRAI has also been included in the report. (Dr. J.S. Sarma) Chairperson Dated : 4th November 2009 Annual Report 2008-09 iii
  5. 5. iv Annual Report 2008-09
  6. 6. Contents Particulars Page No. Part A: Mission, Aims and Objectives 1–2 Part B: Composition of Authority 3 Part C: Overview 5 – 27  Overview of Telecom Sector 5 – 15  Overview of Broadcasting Sector 16 – 24  Developments In Tariff Regulation 24 – 25  Measures to Protect the Interest of Consumers 25  Monitoring of Quality of Service (Qos) 25 – 27  Agenda for Action 27 Part I: Policies and Programmes 29 – 88 1.1 : Review of General Environment in the Telecom Sector 31 – 44 1.2: Review of Policies and Programmes 45 – 54 Annexures to Part I 55 – 88 Part II: Review of working and operation of Telecom Regulatory Authority 89 – 110 of India Part III: Functions of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in respect of 111 – 164 matters specified in Section 11 of TRAI Act Part IV: Organizational matters of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India 165 – 219 and Financial performance 4.1: Organizational matters Telecom Regulatory Authority of 167 – 172 India 4.2: Audited Accounts of Telecom Regulator Authority of India 173 – 195 for the Year 2008-09 4.3 Audited Contributory Provident Fund Accounts of TRAI for 197 – 219 the Year 2008-09 List of abbreviations used in the compilation 220 – 222 Annual Report 2008-09 v
  7. 7. List of Tables Table 1.1 Total Number of Licenses issued for Service Areas and Number 57 of Licensees offering services as on 31st March 2009 (other than BSNL and MTNL) Table 1.2 Service Area wise and Operator-wise details of subscriber Base 58 – 60 of Basic Services (wireline) as on 31st March, 2009 Table 1.3 The total DELs installed by Basic Service Operators and the total 61 Waiting List as on 31st March, 2009 Table 1.4 Details of Equipped Switching Capacity, Net Capacity addition, 62 – 64 etc. in respect of Basic Service Providers as on 31st March, 2009 Vis-à-vis 31st March 2008 Table 1.5 Circle-wise and Operator-wise details of Public Call Offices as 65 – 67 on 31st March, 2009 vis-à-vis 31st March 2008 Table 1.6 Circle-wise and Operator-wise status of VPTs as on 31st March 68 – 70 2009 Table 1.7 Subscriber Base of Mobile (GSM and CDMA) Services from 71 March, 2005 to 31st March, 2009 Table 1.8 List of Wireless Service Providers Service Area wise as on 31st 72 – 78 March, 2009 Table 1.9 Additional GSM Wireless Subscribers added and annual growth 79 rate in different circles during 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 Table 1.10 Number of VSAT Customers as on 31st March, 2009 79 Table 1.11 Number of PMRTS Customers as on 31st March 2009 80 Table 1.12 Subscriber Base and other details as reported by ISPs 81 – 86 Table 1.13 List of Internet Telephony Service Providers as on 31st March 87 2009 who have reported the start of services Table 2.1 Wireless Rural Subscriber Base (in million) 97 Table 2.2 Subscriber Base of Wireless Operators 98 Table 3.1 Telecommunications Tariff Orders (Amendments) 114 Table 3.2 Regulations issued by TRAI during 2008-09 117 Table 3.3 List of Recommendations made by the Authority during 128 2008-09 vi Annual Report 2008-09
  8. 8. A. MISSION, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES A.1 Preamble much ahead of the targeted date in the year 2010. The total number of 1. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of broadband subscribers as on 31st India (TRAI) has always endeavoured March 2009 was 6.22 million and in to encourage greater competition addition there were 11.09 million in the telecom sector together with Internet subscribers. In Broadcasting better quality and affordable prices and Cable Sector there are more than in order to meet the objectives of 82 million Cable TV subscribers with New Telecom Policy, 1999. Vide a more than 60,000 Cable TV Operators Notification dated 9th January, 2004 across the country. of the Government; Broadcasting and Cable Services also have been 3. Significant policy and regulatory brought within the definition of initiatives have led to the Indian ‘telecommunication service’ in Telecommunications Sector undergo terms of section 2(k) of the Telecom a major process of transformation. Regulatory Authority of India Act, TRAI through its growth oriented 1997 as amended by the TRAI and consumer driven regimes has (Amendment) Act, 2000. A number helped Indian Telecommunications to of policy initiatives were taken become the show piece of economic to transform the telecom sector reforms. Commendably maintaining including the broadcasting and the fine balance that the regulatory cable services to extend the scope, activity calls for, TRAI has focused availability and reach of these services on optimized network build-up and in India. efficiency of operations. With the help of well-timed interventions and 2. The Telecom Sector in India has forbearances, TRAI has led the telecom shown remarkable growth during sector from a monopolistic to an open the last decade propelled largely by unprecedented demand of mobile mature market. This is driven by telephony. India has become second growth and competitive forces, to the largest telecom network in the world admiration and benefit of the Indian after China. Current growth of around Consumers who are consequently 15 million connections per month, enjoying a wide choice of services puts us on the strong footing to with the lowest tariffs in the world. achieve the target of 500 million lines Thus, with calculated steps in the right by the time of printing of this report, directions, India has become not only Annual Report 2008-09 1
  9. 9. the second largest but also the fastest v Establishing an interconnection growing telecommunications market regime that allows fair, transparent, globally. prompt and equitable interconnection, A.2 Mission of TRAI v Re-balancing tariffs so that the 4. TRAI’s mission is to create and objectives of affordability and nurture conditions for the growth operator viability are met in a of telecommunications including consistent manner, broadcasting and cable services in the country in a manner and at a v Protecting the interest of consumers pace which will enable India to play a and addressing general consumer leading role in the emerging global concerns relating to availability, information society. pricing and quality of service and other matters, A.3 Aims and Objectives of TRAI v Monitoring the quality of service 5. The goals and objectives of TRAI provided by the various operators, are focused towards providing a regulatory regime that facilitates v Providing a mechanism for funding of achievement of the objectives of net cost areas/ public telephones so the New Telecom Policy (NTP) 1999. that Universal Service Obligations are As shown by the various initiatives discharged by telecom operators for mentioned later in this Report, the spread of telecom facilities in remote goals and objectives of TRAI are as and rural areas, follows: v Increasing tele- density and access v Preparing the grounds for smooth to telecommunications in the country transition to an era of convergence of at affordable prices, services and technologies, v Making available telecommunication v Promoting the growth of coverage services which in terms of range, of radio in India through commercial price and quality are comparable to and non-commercial channels, the best in the world, v Providing a fair and transparent v Increasing consumer choice in policy environment which promotes reception of TV channels and a level playing field and facilitates choosing the operator who would fair competition, provide television and other related services. 2 Annual Report 2008-09
  10. 10. B. COMPOSITION OF AUTHORITY T he Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, as amended vide the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Act, 2000, specifies that the Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than two whole-time Members and not more than two part-time Members. During the Financial Year 2008-09, the constitution of the Authority was as below: Name Designation Date since holding the post Shri Nripendra Misra Chairperson 22.03.2006 Shri A.K. Sawhney Member 29.06.2006 Shri R.N. Prabhakar Member 27.02.2007 Prof. N. Balakrishnan Part-Time Member 26.09.2006 Dr. Rajiv Kumar Part-Time Member 23.01.2007 The Chairperson and other members shall hold office for a term not exceeding three years, as the Central Government may notify in this behalf, from the date on which they enter upon their offices or until they attain the age of sixty five years, whichever is earlier. Shri Nripendra Misra, on completion of the three years tenure, demitted his office on 21st March 2009. Annual Report 2008-09 3
  11. 11. 4 Annual Report 2008-09
  12. 12. C. OVERVIEW T RAI during the financial year 2008-09, continued its work of regulating the telecom sector, as a forward looking regulator, and took number of initiatives which facilitated development of telecom sector including broadcasting and cable services in terms of growth of subscriber base, growth of telecom network and greater emphasis on protecting the interest of consumers. In this part of the report, an overview of the initiatives taken by TRAI in Telecom and Broadcasting Sectors; Developments in Tariff Regulation; Measures to protect the interests of Consumers; and Monitoring of Quality of Service have been discussed briefly. The details on these aspects have been enumerated in Part I, Part II and Part III of this report. TelecoM SecToR 2. An overview of the important activities in the telecom sector undertaken by TRAI during the year are enumerated in the following paragraphs. 3. The total subscriber base (both wireless and wireline) of telecom sector in India during the financial year 2008-09 crossed 400 million mark with 429.72 million subscriber as on 31st March 2009. The growth of subscriber base during 1999-2009 is indicated below: Growth of Subscriber base from 1999 to 2009 (in million) Annual Report 2008-09 5
  13. 13. Box 1: Major achievements during the Financial Year 2008-09 in Telecom sector v The total wireless subscriber base {GSM, CDMA and WLL (F)} stood at 391.76 million at the end of financial year. v The number of wireline subscribers on 31st March 2009 was 37.96 million. v On an average, more than 10 million subscribers were added every month during the financial year. v The total number of PCOs in the country as on 31st March 2009 was 6.20 million and the number of VPTs was 5.61 million. v The overall teledensity at the end of March 2009 was 36.98% as compared to 26.22% ending March 2008. v The rural teledensity at the end of March 2009 was 15.20% as compared to 9.20% ending March 2008 v There were 13.54 million internet subscribers on 31st March 2009 as compared to 11.09 million on 31st March 2008. v Besides the internet subscribers mentioned above, there are 117.82 million wireless data subscribers who are accessing internet through wireless (GSM and CDMA) networks. v The number of broad-band connections on 31st March 2009 was 6.22 million compared to 3.87 million for the same period during previous year. (a) Recommendations on “Terms and Supplementaries at one year and Conditions for Publication interval. of Integrated Telephone v Only one authorized agency for Directory for Fixed line the first six years. Telephones” v Selection through an open bid 4. TRAI on 24th April 2008 sent its from amongst the experienced recommendations on terms and printers of telephone conditions for publication of directories. integrated telephone directory v ‘Opt-out’ approach to be followed for fixed line telephones to by telephone subscribers. For DoT. The salient features of the new customers provision for recommendations are as under: option in the enrolment form to v Printing through authorization be made by operators. of selected agency on license v Telephone Directory to be priced service area basis. in accordance with selection v Directory of fixed line telephone criteria. to be printed on a triennial basis. v TRAI to issue determination/ Main Directory in the first year guidelines for publishing the 6 Annual Report 2008-09
  14. 14. Telephone Directory on website for the existing licensees may by service providers. not be available in one lot. It was 5. TRAI has accordingly, formulated in this context that the Authority guidelines for printing of integrated had recommended that those telephone directory SSA-wise for who do not get accommodated fixed line telephones. The details of in the first phase will be placed these guidelines and other related in the queue and will be issues of this recommendation have allotted spectrum as and when been discussed in Part-III of this available on the same terms report. and conditions as granted to the licensees in the first phase. (b) Recommendations on v In view of the future expected Permitting New Entity for technological advancements, allocation of 3G Spectrum. the Authority recommended a 6. In response to the Recommendations review after three years. of TRAI on “Allocation & Pricing of Spectrum for 3G and BWA Service” (c) Recommendations on “Terms dated 27th September 2006, the and Conditions of Licence DoT had sought Authority’s view on for the National Integrated the participation of other Indian / Directory Enquiry Service foreign prospective operators for (NIDQS) the 3G spectrum. The Authority 7. TRAI sent its recommendations on revisited its earlier recommendations the terms and conditions of licence on the DoT reference and after due for the National Integrated Directory deliberations the Authority gave its Enquiry Service (NIDQS) for fixed recommendations as below: and mobile telephones to DoT on v The auction for 3G licensees 19th June 2008. Following the earlier should be restricted to existing recommendations of TRAI dated UAS / CMTS licensees. 5th May, 2005, the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) had v The spectrum module for auction sought the terms and conditions of should be 2 X 5 MHz. licence for the National Integrated v The auction mode as Directory Enquiry Service (NIDQS). recommended earlier may be TRAI had followed consultation accepted. process on various issues involved in the provision of National Integrated v The total availability of spectrum Directory Enquiry Service (NIDQS) by should be made public at the issuing a consultation paper. Taking stage of the auction so that the into account the comments received bidders are fully aware regarding from stakeholders during public the first and subsequent phase consultations, TRAI formulated its of allocation on the price recommendations on the terms and determined by the auction. conditions for the proposed new v It is conceivable that the total licence for the National Integrated quantum of spectrum required Directory Enquiry Service (NIDQS) Annual Report 2008-09 7
  15. 15. Box 2: Major Recommendations made during the year 2008-09: v Recommendations on Terms and Conditions for Publication of an Integrated Telephone Directory for Fixed Line Telephones v Recommendations on permitting New Entity for Allocation of 3G Spectrum v Recommendation on Foreign Investment Limits for Broadcasting Sector v Recommendations on Terms and Conditions for National Integrated Directory Enquiry Service (NIDQS) for Fixed and Mobile Telephones v Recommendations on Allocation and Pricing for 2.3-2.4 GHz, 2.5-2.69 GHz & 3.3-3.6 GHz bands v Recommendations on the modifications proposed by DoT on Reserve Price and Auction process for 3G services v Recommendations on the modifications proposed by DoT on spectrum Usage Charges and One Time Spectrum Enhancement Charges v Recommendations on Restructuring of Cable TV Services v Recommendations on Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) v Recommendations on Issues related to Internet Telephony v Recommendations on the Policy Guidelines and operational Issues for Television Audience Measurement / Television Rating Points (TRPs) v Recommendations on Provision of Calling Cards by Long Distance Operators v Recommendations on issues related to entry of certain entities into Broadcasting and Distribution activities v Recommendations on Modifications proposed by DoT on the spectrum usage charges for 3 G Services. v Recommendations on Growth of Value Added Services and Regulatory Issues v Recommendations on Media Ownership v Recommendations on Lock-in period for Promoter’s Equity and other related issues for Unified Access Service Licensees (UASL) v Recommendations on An Approach to Rural Telephony – Suggested Measures for an Accelerated Growth for fixed line and cellular mobile share; tariff etc. The details of telephones. The recommendations the recommendations have been deliberated on issues like scope of discussed in Part-III of this report. licence; market structure; eligibility criteria; entry fee; licence fee; (d) Recommendations on performance obligations; bank ‘Allocation and Pricing for 2.3- guarantee; duration of licence; data 2.4 GHz, 2.5-2.69 GHz & 3.3-3.6 sharing and data security; listing GHz bands’ in NIDQS for directory enquiry 8. TRAI on 11th July 2008 made its service; interconnection; revenue recommendations on ‘Allocation 8 Annual Report 2008-09
  16. 16. and Pricing for 2.3–2.4 GHz, 2.5– (DoT) had sought TRAI’s 2.69 GHz bands, & 3.3–3.6 GHz recommendations on the need and bands.’ The Authority had sent its timing for introduction of MVNO recommendations to the Government as well as terms and conditions of on “Allocation and pricing of spectrum the license to be granted to such for 3G and broadband wireless access operators. After going through the (BWA) services” on 27th September, consultation process on the various 2006. When the Authority had given issues involved in introduction of its recommendations, the spectrum MVNO in India, TRAI formulated its in the 2.3–2.4 GHz and 2.5–2.69 GHz recommendations on the need and bands were not available for allocation timing for introduction of MVNO and therefore, the Authority had then as well as terms and conditions of recommended that allocation and the license to be granted to such pricing methodology of spectrum operators. in these bands would be decided as 10. The Authority recommended and when these are made available. definition of a MVNO as “MVNO is After World Radio Congress-07 a licensee in any service area that (WRC-07), these bands have been does not have spectrum of its own identified as International Mobile for access service, but can provide Telecommunications (IMT) bands and wireless (mobile) access services that spectrum in these bands is now to its own customers through an available for allocation for the BWA agreement with the licensed access services. Accordingly, the Authority provider, UAS/CMTS Licensee”. has given these recommendations. MVNO cannot participate in Based on technological advancement; spectrum auction for Access Services availability of spectrum for allocation; in their service area, as they cannot and after analysis of comments have their own spectrum. Similarly, received from the stakeholders ISPs can become MVNOs if it does through the consultation process not have BWA spectrum. The details the Authority formulated its of recommendations have been recommendations on this subject. discussed in Part-III of this report. The details of the recommendations (f) Recommendation on Issues have been discussed in Part-III of this Related to Internet Telephony report. 11. Telecom Regulatory Authority of (e) Recommendation on Mobile India (TRAI) issued recommendations Virtual Network operator on “Issues Related to Internet (MVNo) Telephony” on 18th August 2008. 9. TRAI released its recommendations The Authority suo-motu initiated on ‘Mobile Virtual Network Operator a consultation process on “Issues (MVNO)’ on 6th August 2008 Related to Internet Telephony”. The enabling the introduction of MVNOs Authority considered regulatory in the Indian Telecom network. framework which is technologically Department of Telecommunications neutral, enables developments, Annual Report 2008-09 9
  17. 17. innovations and growth of the National and International Long telecom sector for benefit of Distance Operators” on 20th August common masses while ensuring that 2008. These recommendations business models of access telecom are a result of extensive review of service providers are not adversely mechanisms of providing choice of impacted. Due importance was given long distance carrier to the Indian to level playing filed among various consumer. To make it possible for service providers, Interconnection the subscribers with the means of mechanism, Inter-connect usage selecting Long Distance Carrier, charges (IUC), Numbering, Lawful the Authority has recommended interception, Emergency number to the Government that National dialing, Interoperability, Quality and International Long Distance of Service etc. Overall licensing operators be permitted to offer framework has been protected while national and international long permitting unrestricted Internet distance voice calls, respectively, telephony to ISPs. After following the through calling cards. These consultation process, the Authority recommendations would lead to made recommendations to the the following benefits: Government. 12. These recommendations are a v Consumer would be able to step forward towards developing exercise choice of long distance supportive regulatory environment, operator for the national and encouraging technological advance- international calls through calling ments, enabling convergence, making cards. unrestricted Internet telephony v Competition would be available and boosting of broadband encouraged and affordable penetration. These enabling innovative tariff plans would recommendations will put Indian become available. telecom sector in tune with global trends. The grey market tendencies v Consumer can subscribe to any shall be curtailed. It is envisaged that access provider and still not the customers will ultimately benefit be dependent on the access from cost effective and innovative provider for long distance calls. Internet Telephony service. The v Through long distance calling business model of ISPs will improve cards customer can make long without impacting access providers distance calls from telephone of due to increase in the telephony call any access provider. volumes. (g) Recommendation on “Provision (h) The Telecommunication Tariff of Calling Cards by National and (Forty eighth Amendment) International Long Distance order 2008 operators.” 14. TRAI issued The Telecommunication 13. TRAI sent its recommendations Tariff (Forty Eighth Amendment) on “Provision of Calling Cards by Order 2008 on 1st September 2008. 10 Annual Report 2008-09
  18. 18. Through this Tariff amendment order v Lifetime customers need not and by Direction dated 1st September recharge more than once in 6 2008, the Authority mandated months for remaining connected several regulatory measures to v Customers to get key tariff improve transparency in tariff offers information in vernacular in access service and other consumer language also at all the retail protection measures. The Authority outlets of the service providers in the past had issued several other and their franchisees regulatory mandates in the interest of consumers. The Authority noted v No change in mobile number that despite several such measures when subscriber change tariff there is a feeling among consumers plans or move from prepaid to that various offers being made by postpaid or vice versa. access service providers are not v Blackout days (customary/festival transparent and consumer friendly. days on which free/concessional The Authority had been receiving calls/SMS are not available) complaints from consumers and limited to a maximum of 5 days in consumer organizations which, a calendar year. Such days to be inter-alia, highlighted transparency pre-specified and no subsequent issues. The Authority, therefore, alteration or addition permitted. decided to have a re-look at the regulatory framework relating to 15. The Direction issued by the Authority transparency in the matter of tariff alongwith this tariff order covered offers through the well established various issue like; Disclosure of information, Provisions for smooth process of public consultation. The migration between plans and billing highlights of the Tariff Order are as platforms, Streamlining Promotional under: offers, Differential Voice/SMS tariffs v Subscribers to get full talk time on festival/customary days etc. on talk time recharges, barring an (i) Telecom Unsolicited administrative fee not exceeding Commercial Communications Rs.2 per recharge and applicable (Second Amendment) taxes. Regulations, 2008 v Subscribers to automatically 16. Telecom Regulatory Authority get the benefit of straight of India (TRAI) notified the tariff reductions without any “Telecom Unsolicited Commercial preconditions of any explicit Communications (UCC) (Second action by the subscriber, for Amendment) Regulations, 2008” on example, sending SMS etc. 21st October 2008. This is yet another v Customers in existing lifetime step of the Authority to strengthen plans can migrate to new lifetime the regulatory framework towards plans with lower entry fee curbing Unsolicited Commercial without having to make additional Communications. In order to payment or recharges. curb the Unsolicited Commercial Annual Report 2008-09 11
  19. 19. Communication (UCC), TRAI had or HSBC etc., numeric codes like formulated Telecom Unsolicited 58888 or 56262 etc.), it becomes Commercial Communications very difficult and time consuming Regulations, 2007 (4 of 2007) dated 5th for the service providers to June 2007. Further, the regulation was identify the service provider from amended in March 2008 to improve whose network such unsolicited the effectiveness. The highlights of commercial communication the Amendment Regulations are: originated. Therefore, the v provisions mandating that even Authority directed the service in case of complaints forwarded providers that the alpha-numeric after the expiry of the period identifier of all commercial SMSs of seven days as specified, the which are sent with only sender Originating Access Provider identification and without the shall take action in terms of the normal ten digit mobile number provisions of sub-regulations (3) shall be prefixed by the code of and (4) of regulation 16 so as to the service provider and the code ensure that no complaint which of the service area as specified has been made to a service by the Authority (for example in provider in accordance with sub- form of XY-HSBC, where X stands regulation (1) goes unredressed. for the code allotted to the service provider and Y stands for the v provisions have been service area) and this has been incorporated in the second implemented from 1st Feb.2009. amendment to the principal regulations providing for time (j) Recommendations on Growth limits to be specified by the of Value Added Services and Authority under a direction Regulatory Issues under section 13 of the TRAI 17. Recommendations on Growth of Act, 1997. The Authority has Value Added Services and Regulatory directed all Access Providers to Issues were issued on 13th February adhere to the limits of 28 days in 2009. The value added service (VAS) case of complaints against their market in India has a great potential own telemarketers and 35 days for growth and revenue from this in case of complaints against growth potential is expected to reach telemarketers belonging to other above INR 250 billion by the year telecom service providers. 2009-10 and more than 30% of the revenue of the telecom access service v Whenever a subscriber makes providers in the next 5-7 years. TRAI a complaint of unsolicited recognised the need to address commercial communication by the various issues involved in the SMS with sender identification growth of value added services in a other than the normal ten digit transparent and coordinated manner mobile or fixed number, (Viz., so that these services achieve the alphanumeric names like SBI life 12 Annual Report 2008-09
  20. 20. potential growth. After going through broadband services being offered the extensive consultation process and marketed as a good business and in house analysis on the issues practice. involved, the Authority forwarded v Provide information regarding its suo moto recommendations to the Government on growth of value contention ratios adopted for added services and regulatory issues. different services by service These recommendations will pave providers in their tariff plans the way for orderly growth of value submitted to TRAI, manual of added services and consumers will practice, call centers and on their also be benefited with new and websites. enhanced services/value added v Publish contention ratio for services at competitive rates. The different Internet/broadband details of the recommendations services on their website have been discussed in Part III of this quarterly to facilitate subscribers report. to take informed decision. (k) Guidelines for better Internet / v Ensure availability of minimum broadband service required bandwidth in their 18. The Authority issued guidelines to network according to maximum all service providers (ISPs, UASLs, contention ratio suggested by CMSPs, BSOs) providing Internet/ TRAI for different services based broadband to ensure better services on number of subscribers. to their subscribers. There have been (l) Telecommunications Inter- complaints from the subscribers connection Usage Charges (Tenth regarding inadequate broadband Amendment) Regulations speed being provided by the Internet 19. The Telecommunications Inter- Service Providers. Most of the connection Usage Charges (Tenth complaints alleged that the available broadband speed is lower than the Amendment) Regulations 2009 was subscribed speed. Non-availability of issued on 9th March 2009. The key subscribed speed at the Subscriber’s features of the Regulations are: end deteriorates the performance v Termination charge for all types of applications run by users and in of domestic calls viz fixed to fixed, turn restricts the utility of broadband fixed to mobile, mobile to fixed connection. Authority initiated a and mobile to mobile has been Consultation Process on the subject reduced to 20 paise per minute and based on the outcome of the from 30 paise per minute. consultation process, TRAI issued guidelines. The salient features of v Termination charge for incoming the guidelines are: international calls would be 40 paise per minute against the v Provide adequate information to existing charge of 30 paise per subscribers regarding Internet/ minute. Annual Report 2008-09 13
  21. 21. v Ceiling on carriage of domestic for Unified Access Service Licenses long distance calls retained at 65 (UASL), declaration of special dividend paise per minute. Non-reduction in case of additional equity etc. of this ceiling would encourage After following the due consultation national long distance operators process, the Authority made its to expand into rural areas. recommendation to the DoT on 12th March 2009. The recommendations v Origination charge has not been covered issues like Lock-in period specified as it would be residual for Promoter’s Equity; Definition from tariff after payment of other of Promoters; details of equity charges. and networth of licesee company; v Transit/Carriage charge from Reporting & Certificate requirement; Level-II Trunk Automatic Additional Share Capital; Dividend / Exchange to Short Distance Special Dividend; Pledging of Shares Charging Area(SDCA) to be 15 etc. paise per minute as against (n) Recommendations on “An existing charge of 20 paise per approach to Rural Telephony minute – Suggested measures for an v Intra SDCA transit charge to be accelerated growth.” less than 15 paise per minute 22. The Authority made its suo motu down from less than 20 paise per recommendations on “An approach minute to Rural Telephony – suggested v Termination charge for 3G voice measures for an accelerated calls shall be same as 2G voice growth” on 19th March 2009. calls These recommendations include concrete measures to overcome v The new charges to be effective the various constraints coming in from 1st April 2009. the way of increasing rural telecom 20. It is expected that this framework penetration. The salient points of the will promote growth of the recommendations are: network. v Effective empowerment of the (m) Recommendation on Lock-in USOF Administrator. period for Promoter’s equity v Separation of USOF from and other related issues Department of Telecom and for Unified Access Service establishment of a framework licensees (UASl) on the lines of National Highway Authority should be considered. 21. Department of Telecommunications sought recommendations of the v USO Fund Act / Rule should be so Authority on the considered views amended that the funds accruing of the Telecom Commission on the to USOF through levy is directly restrictions relating to the issue of managed by the organization lock-in period for promoter’s equity and is not routed through the 14 Annual Report 2008-09
  22. 22. budgetary process of the Union places such as hospitals /schools Government. etc. v The USOF should follow the v Amendment in section 10 of the bidding process only where Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to it is necessary and it should curtail delay in obtaining right of concentrate primarily on way permission. planning and monitoring of the v The USOF should negotiate implementation of the scheme. with the Department of Post v The USOF should determine so as to facilitate the following the subsidy support for setting activities: up mobile towers in different  Working as sales outlet of regions and any IP-I/CMTS/ telecom service providers UASL operator, who sets up the tower in the designated  Bill Collection centers SDCAs and share it, should be based on mutually agreed paid subsidy depending on the commission number of operators sharing  subscriber verification the tower.  Telecom service providers v The USOF may devise a scheme can offer some commission to call expression of Interest for bringing in new from IP-I/NLD/UAS licensees subscribers to provide optical fibre from  A pilot scheme for a duration the USOF subsidized towers to of 3-6 months in each state nearest block headquarter. USOF for gaining experience. shall give subsidy at the rate of maximum one lakh per KM per (o) Regulation on the standards sharing (to be distributed over a of Quality of Service of Basic period of three years) provided Telephone Service (wireline) it shares it with at least one and cellular Mobile Telephone access service provider. Service v USOF may device a scheme 23. TRAI released Regulations on the / agreement with state standards of Quality of Service of governments in which broadband Basic Telephone Service (wireline) and connection are facilitated by Cellular Mobile Telephone Service, USOF while state Government on 20th March 2009. The detailed would assure fixed number background of the Regulations have of broadband connections for been discussed in Part III of this Government offices/ public report. Annual Report 2008-09 15
  23. 23. BRoADcASTING & cABle SecToR 26. The present status of foreign investment limits for different 24. An overview of the important segments of Broadcasting sector activities in the broadcasting sector along with the recommendations of undertaken by TRAI during the year the Authority are tabulated as shown are enumerated in the following at the bottom of the page. paragraphs (a) Recommendations on 27. The recommendations also cover the procedure for approval and Foreign Investment limits methodology for calculation of foreign for Broadcasting Sector investments in different segments of 25. TRAI made its recommendations broadcasting. on Foreign investment limits for broadcasting sector on 26th April (b) Recommendations on 2008. The Ministry of Information Restructuring of cable TV and Broadcasting had sought Services recommendations of the Authority on Foreign Investment limits for 28. TRAI sent its Recommendations on various segments of Broadcasting “Restructuring of Cable TV Services” Sector. In line with its consultative to Ministry of Information and approach, the Authority issued a Broadcasting on 25th July 2008. These Consultation Paper on the subject recommendations are a step forward for comments from the stakeholders to restructure Cable TV Networks to before giving its recommendations ensure effective licensing compliance, to the Government on Foreign attract investment, facilitate new Investment limits for various value added services and encourage segments of Broadcasting Sector. digitization. The Recommendations, S. No. Segment Existing Limit Recommendations 1. Teleport (Hub) 49% (FDI+FII) 74% (FDI+FII) 2. DTH 49% (FDI+FII) FDI component 74% (FDI+FII) not to exceed 20% 3. Satellite Radio No policy as on date* Being sent separately 4. HITS No policy as on date** 74% (FDI+FII) 5. Cable Network 49% (FDI+FII) 74% (FDI+FII) 6. FM Radio 20% (FDI+FII) 49% (FDI+FII) 7. Downlinking of TV 100% Status Quo Channels 8. Uplinking of TV News 26% (FDI+FII) 49% (FDI+FII) Channels 9. Uplinking of Non News 100% Status Quo TV Channels 10. Mobile Television No policy as on date 74% (FDI+FII) * Approval to one foreign Satellite Radio operator given through FIPB route. ** Permission for HITS operation given two Teleport licensees (49% foreign investment limit) 16 Annual Report 2008-09
  24. 24. Box 3: The major highlights during the Financial Year 2008-09 in Broadcasting & Cable TV Sector v As on 31st March 2009, the maximum number of Free-to-Air (FTA) Channels and Pay Channels being carried in the Cable Networks were 168 and 130 respectively. v The total number of Set-Top Boxes (STB) installed in CAS notified areas of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai at the end of March 2009 were 7,70,053. v As on 31st March 2009 there were 6 private DTH licensees apart from free-to air DTH service of Doordarshan v Subscriber base of DTH Operators as on 31st March 2009 was 13.09 Million v Apart from All India Radio, there were 245 FM Radio stations in operation as on 31st March, 2009 v As on 31st March 2009, there were 67 Licensed Community Radio Station and out of these 41 stations were in operation. inter-alia, covers issue like licensing 30. The Authority is of the view that framework for LCOs / MSOs; eligibility Governmental intervention in the criteria; entry fee for LCOs / MSOs; form of an enactment is not desirable well defined structure of licensing at this stage. Therefore, self- and Appellate Authority; well defined regulation through the Industry led, complaint redressal mechanism; not-for-profit body BARC, has been QoS norms for LCOs / MSOs; penalty recommended with Government provision for non-compliance of Guidelines covering, BARC’s license terms & conditions etc. Organizational Structure, Functioning (c) Recommendations on and Methodology. The recommended the “Policy Guidelines measures covered issues like and Operational issues Framework for the Industry led body; for Television Audience Suggested conditions for Rating Measurement/ Television agencies; Sample Size; Technology; Rating Points (TRPs)” Cross-holding; Mandatory Audit; Competition in rating services etc. 29. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had sought (d) Recommendations on “Issues recommendations of TRAI on the relating to entry of certain system and framework of Television entities into Broadcasting and Ratings and the policy guidelines to Distribution activities”. be adopted for rating agencies. The Authority made its Recommendations 31. TRAI made its Recommendations on the ‘Policy Guidelines and on “Issues relating to entry of Operatinal issues for Television certain entities into Broadcasting Auidence Measurement / Television and Distribution activities” on 12th Rating Points (TRP)’ on 19th August November 2008. The Ministry of 2008. Information & Broadcasting had Annual Report 2008-09 17
  25. 25. requested TRAI, to examine the Broadcasting) may set up a matter of allowing certain entities regular body to approve and including State Governments, urban certify programmes as being and local bodies, 3-tier Panchayati fit for broadcast as part of the Raj bodies, publicly funded bodies, public service broadcasting political bodies and religious bodies (PSB) obligation. to enter into Broadcasting activities v As a beginning in this direction, which may include starting of every private broadcaster may broadcast channels or entering into be mandated to carry such distribution platforms such as cable approved programmes at least services, DTH etc. for a total duration of thirty 32. After carefully examining several minutes in a week. Constitutional and legal issues, 33. In order to provide funds for relevant Constitutional provisions, such public service broadcasting the Constituent Assembly debates, programmes, TRAI has further the recommendations of the Sarkaria recommended to establish a Fund, Commission and the judgments of to be known as the Public Service Hon’ble Supreme Court, and also Broadcasting Obligation Fund, on going through the consultation lines similar to the Universal Service process and its own analysis the Obligation (USO) Fund in the telecom Authority has recommended that sector, and imposing an annual Public the present position as regards Service Broadcasting Obligation the entry of these entities may levy on the private broadcasters in be allowed to continue. TRAI has the country and a predetermined recommended that the aspirations share from the percentage of gross of the State Governments, as regards revenue being paid by the identified broadcasting, should be adequately stakeholders in the broadcasting met by Prasar Bharati and by sector. imposing certain public service 34. Other detailed recommendations broadcasting obligations on private regarding entry of Political parties, broadcasters as indicated below: religious bodies, state Govt, into v The preparation of content for broadcasting activities have been public service broadcasting may discussed in Part III of this report. be done by individuals including (e) Recommendations on 3rd private broadcasters, NGOs, Phase of Private FM Radio social action groups, etc., in Broadcasting – response addition to Prasar Bharati, DAVP, to observations made by State Governments and their Government organs. 35. TRAI had sent its recommendations v The Government of India on 3rd Phase of Private FM Radio (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on 22nd February, 18 Annual Report 2008-09
  26. 26. 2008. Subsequently, the Ministry v The Authority accepted the of Information & Broadcasting had views of the Government on requested for TRAI’s response on limiting the sources of News and certain issues relating to TRAI’s Current Affairs for FM Radio and recommendations in terms of the has recommended that a review provisions of Section 11 of TRAI Act. for expansion of sources may be The main issues on which response considered after three years was sought from TRAI are as follows: v The categorization of content v Geographical basis for licensing to be treated as non-news and – City vis-à-vis District current affairs broadcast is v Restriction on ownership of acceptable. The scope of such multiple channels content may be enlarged after a period of three years after v Change in ownership of reviewing the experience. permission holder company v The Authority has accepted the v News and Current Affairs views of the Government for v Floor price of the bids continuing with the current level v Automatic renewal of permission of floor price of the bids. 36. These issues were considered by v Automatic renewal of permission the Authority and a response was with higher of the “future value” sent to the Ministry of Information of the One Time Entry Fee paid & Broadcasting on 28th November by a bidder or the latest One 2008. The highlights of the response Time Entry Fee paid by any sent by the Authority are:- bidder for a similar category v Continuation of city level city in the same state has been licensing in the larger interest of recommended with the existing expediting the process. permission holder having the first right of refusal. v The Authority strongly reiterated its earlier recommendation (f) The Telecommunication for removal of ceiling limit (Broadcasting and Cable) of ownership of 15% of total Services (Third) (CAS Areas) permitted FM radio stations in Tariff (Third Amendment) the country by any permission order, 2008 holder. 37. The Telecommunication (Broad- v While accepting the casting and Cable) Services Government’s views on allowing (Third) (CAS Areas) Tariff (Third restructuring before start of FM Amendment) Order, 2008 was issued radio broadcasting, the Authority on 26th December 2008. These reiterated its views on restrictions tariff amendment orders reflect on change in ownership after the market development in Set top start of FM radio broadcasting. box prices and accordingly provide Annual Report 2008-09 19
  27. 27. reduction in the rentals of standard rental of Rs. 34/- instead of Rs. 45/-, tariff package for set top boxes for and another with Security deposit of cable TV services in CAS areas. Rs. 750/- instead of Rs. 999/- with a monthly rental of just Rs. 22/- instead 38. The CAS Tariff Order dated 31st of Rs. 30/-. August, 2006 provided ceilings of Rs.5 (excluding taxes) per pay channel per 40. These tariff amendment orders month and Rs.77 (excluding taxes) per have been made applicable from 1st month for basic service tier consisting January, 2009. of minimum 30 free to air channels, (g) The Telecommunication at subscriber level in CAS notified (Broadcasting and Cable) areas. After permitting 7% increase, Services (Second) Tariff (Ninth the ceiling for pay channel has been Amendment) order, 2008 increased to Rs. 5.35/- per pay channel per month at subscriber end 41. TRAI issued the Telecommunication (excluding taxes), and basic service (Broadcasting and Cable) Services tier may cost upto Rs. 82/- per month (Second) Tariff (Ninth Amendment) to the consumer (excluding taxes). Order, 2008, on 26th December 2008. This order is aimed at providing 39. The tariff amendment order for CAS inflation linked adjustments in the areas provides for reduction in the security deposit and monthly rental tariff ceilings for cable TV services for set top box. This reduction has in non-CAS areas. Earlier, the non- become necessary with fall in the CAS Tariff order as amended on 4th current prices of the set top boxes. October 2007, made the cable charges Earlier, the tariff order for cable TV being paid at different levels of the services in CAS areas provided two distribution chain as on 01.12.2007 mandatory schemes to the consumers as a ceiling, while making provisions in which the security deposits and for increases on account of new pay monthly rentals were specified based channels. In addition, the existing on the then prevailing prices of the tariff order also provides for specific set top boxes. Since prices of set top ceilings at the subscriber level based boxes have come down during last on the number of channels and the two years of the implementation of city in which a subscriber is getting the CAS tariff order, it was necessary to cable TV services. Since one year has revisit the same and to reflect it in already passed, it was felt necessary the tariff order in order to pass on to revisit the ceilings for the optimal the benefits to the consumers. The growth of the cable TV sector. It was security deposit and rentals of set felt necessary to provide for inflation- top boxes have accordingly been linked increase in the ceiling for revised, and now service providers different players of delivery chain of are required to offer two schemes, cable TV services, and accordingly 7% one with Security deposit of Rs. 200/- increase has been provided based instead of Rs. 250/- with a monthly on whole sale price index movement 20 Annual Report 2008-09
  28. 28. for cable services in non-CAS areas. migration on QoS front whenever Similarly, the ceilings at subscribers CAS is extended by the Ministry of end based on the number of pay Information & Broadcasting in their channels in different parts of the areas of operation in future. The country have also been revised to main features of the Regulations are reflect this permitted increase. as follows- 42. These tariff amendment orders v Procedure for connection, have been made applicable from 1st disconnection and reconnection January, 2009. of cable services within seven (h) The Standard of Quality of days, Service (Broadcasting and Cable v Making it compulsory for cable Services) (Cable Television – operators to issue bills and Non-CAS Areas) Regulations receipts to cable TV subscribers, 2009 v Complaint handling and its 43. The Standards of Quality of Service redressal, including maintaining (Broadcasting and Cable Services) helpdesk from 8.00 am to 8.00 (Cable Television – Non-CAS Areas) pm everyday, Regulations, 2009 was issued on 24th February 2009. These regulations v Standards for provisioning of will empower the consumers for Digital Decoders and Set Top receiving quality service from the Boxes for voluntary CAS, cable TV service providers in non- v Compulsory technical standards CAS areas. These regulations have to be observed by the cable been made effective from April 1st, operators, including a good 2009. After issuing QoS Regulations quality, measurable signal for cable TV services in CAS notified strength at subscriber’s end, areas and for DTH service, the maintaining six-hour power Authority went for the consultation backup etc., process on issue of Quality of Service in Non-CAS Areas. Based 44. The Authority believes that these on the inputs of the consultation QoS Regulations would go a long process and internal analysis the way in protecting the interests of the Authority issued QoS regulations for cable TV consumers at large. highly fragmented non-CAS cable TV networks across the country. (i) Recommendations on Media The Authority, while framing ownership these regulations, appreciated 45. TRAI released its Recommendations the voluntary digitalization and on Media Ownership on 25th adoption of addressability by some February 2009 to Ministry of of the service providers in non-CAS Information & Broadcasting. Ministry areas, and accordingly provisions of Information and Broadcasting have been made for seamless had sought TRAI’s recommendations Annual Report 2008-09 21
  29. 29. on the need for cross media and the composition of their ownership restrictions in India for subscription packages during radio, broadcasting and print medias. first six months of enrolment After going through the consultation to the subscription package or process on the various issues relating during the period of validity of to Media Ownership in India, the a prepaid subscription package, international practice and on the whichever is longer. basis of its own analysis, the Authority v The DTH operators have been formulated its recommendation on mandated to proportionately the issue. The Recommendations reduce the subscription charges covers issue like cross media control/ for a package from which any ownership (Horizontal Integration); channel is removed for first vertical Integration; limits on six months of enrolment or number of licensor by single entity; during the period of validity of concentration of Control / Ownership a prepaid subscription package, across media; cross Control / whichever is longer or to replace Ownership across telecom and the channel with a channel of media companies etc. The details same genre and language. of the recommendations have been discussed in Part III of this report. v Option to select the channel of the same genre and language (j) The Direct to Home in a subscription package to Broadcasting Services (Standard replace a channel which has of Quality of Service and become unavailable on the DTH Redressal of Grievances) platform, has been given to the (Amendment) Regulations, 2009 DTH operator. 46. The amended Regulation was v The option of choosing the issued on 12 March 2009. The main th package with reduced charges amendments made in the Quality of or the package with replaced Service and Redressal of Grievances channel has been given to the regulations for DTH Services are as subscriber. under : v Prior notice of fifteen days to be v The DTH operators have been given by the DTH operator before prohibited from charging any changing the composition of any fee towards visiting charges or subscription package. repair and maintenance charges of DTH Consumer Premises v DTH operators have been Equipment during the period of mandated to entertain warranty for such DTH Consumer requests of DTH subscribers Premises Equipment acquired for suspension of services if on outright purchase basis. requested period of suspension does not exceed three calendar v The DTH operators have been months and does not comprise prohibited from changing part of a calendar month 22 Annual Report 2008-09
  30. 30. (k) Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n v Terms and conditions which (Broadcasting and Cable should compulsorily form part of Services) Interconnection (Fifth a Reference Interconnect Offer Amendment) Regulations, for DTH or any other addressable 2009 system, such as Voluntary CAS, IPTV, HITS etc., have been 47. The Authority issued the prescribed. Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection v The distributors of TV channels (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2009, employing addressable systems on 17th March 2009. This amendment have been enabled to provide essentially covers regulatory their services to commercial provisions on non-discriminatory subscribers. access to content, issues relating to interconnection for addressable v It has been made mandatory for platforms and issues relating to all interconnect agreements to registration of interconnection be reduced to writing. agreements. The main amendments 48. It is expected that these made in the Interconnection amendments to the existing Regulations are as under: Interconnection Regulations will v The distributor of TV channels go a long way in facilitating access is barred from seeking signals in to content on non-discriminatory terms of “must provide” clause of terms for distributors of TV the Interconnect Regulation from channels deploying addressable a broadcaster for those channels platforms, which will in turn lead in respect of which carriage to greater competition between fee is being demanded by the various pay TV delivery platforms, distributor of TV channels. bringing considerable benefit to the v The distributor of TV channels consumers. may however charge a fee for (l) The Register of Interconnect placement of the channel of a Agreement (Broadcasting broadcaster vis-à-vis channels and Cable Services) (Fourth of other broadcasters on its Amendment) Regulation, 2009 distribution platform. v Introduction and roll out of 49. The Authority issued the Register voluntary CAS has been facilitated of Interconnect Agreement by making it mandatory for all (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Broadcasters to have Reference (Fourth Amendment) Regulation, Interconnect Offers for all 2009 on 18th March 2009. TRAI had addressable systems. Further, issued regulations on 31st December, minimum technical specifications 2004 for filing and registration of for addressable systems have interconnect agreements entered been specified. into by broadcasters with service Annual Report 2008-09 23
  31. 31. providers of different platforms. The DeVeloPMeNTS IN TARIFF ReGUlATIoN details of interconnect agreements 51. TRAI has been given the prior to amendment were being mandate to regulate tariffs for filed quarterly with TRAI by the broadcasters and DTH operators. telecommunication services in the However, the Authority noted that country. Availability of affordable the industry practice is largely to and effective communications is sign Interconnection Agreements on at the core of the vision and goal annual basis, mainly for a calendar of the New Telecom Policy (NTP, year or for the financial year. To 1999). This function is discharged harmonize the regulation with the through Telecommunication Tariff industry practice the Authority Orders issued by TRAI from time has amended the regulation with to time. In the recent past, the provisions for annual filing of Telecommunication Sector in India interconnection agreements instead has witnessed the highest growth of quarterly filing with the Authority rates in the world, propelled largely by these service providers. by the unprecedented growth in mobile telephone and expects 50. For better monitoring, newly achieving more in the coming years. emerging service providers such Telecommunications is amongst as HITS operators and IPTV service the sectors in India that are doing providers are also required to file comparatively well amidst the interconnect agreements entered economic downturn. A lot of hope into by them with the Broadcasters is pinned on the sector creating new annually with the Authority. The opportunities that will drive future Authority has also decided that all the growth. India’s telecom journey interconnection agreements should has seen the sector leapfrog from a be in written form by the broadcasters monopoly to a highly competitive and MSOs. It is the responsibility of market with one of the lowest tariffs the broadcasters and MSOs to hand in the World. Reforms in the sector over such written agreements after brought in private players, leading to execution to the distributor of TV greater competition, lower tariffs, and channels. A provision for submitting a significant increase in subscriber a certificate in this regard has also numbers. been incorporated in the present regulation. The Authority has 52. In the Broadcasting Sector decided that the interconnection two tariff orders namely; The filings may be kept by the Authority Telecommunication (Broadcasting for a period of three years from the and Cable) Services (Second) Tariff date of their filing or till the expiry of (Ninth Amendment) Order, 2008, and the validity period of the agreement, the Telecommunication (Broadcasting whichever is later and accordingly and Cable) Services (Third) (CAS the regulations have been suitably Areas) Tariff (Third Amendment) amended for this purpose. Order, 2008 were issued during the 24 Annual Report 2008-09
  32. 32. financial year. These tariff orders are TRAI and 4 other organized by aimed at providing inflation linked the CAGs registered with TRAI adjustments in the tariff ceilings for on outsourced model) were cable TV services in CAS and non-CAS organized during the year 2008- areas. These tariff amendment orders 09 also reflect the market development v Two day orientation program in Set top box prices and accordingly with CAGs and NGOs registered provide reduction in the rentals of with TRAI was organized on 22nd standard tariff package for set top & 23rd October, 2008 for the boxes for cable TV services in CAS benefit of the newly registered areas. Also the Telecommunication CAGs. Tariff (Forty Eight Amendment) Order, 2008 was issued during the v A meeting with all the CAGs financial year providing measures to and NGOs registered with TRAI improve transparency in tariff offers was held on 24th October, 2008 in access service and other consumer for better understanding of the protection measures. problems of the Consumers across the Country. MeASUReS To PRoTecT THe INTeReST oF coNSUMeRS v Formation of new Committee on 53. The Authority had been issuing Orders Telecommunication Consumers / directions to the service providers Education and Protection Fund to enhance consumer transparency (CUTCEF) on 15th September, in the matters of service provision. 2008 after expiry one year term The following consumer protection of the old Committee. measures were taken during the v Issue of Guidelines on 2nd March year. 2009 to all Service Providers v The Authority Issued a Direction providing Internet / Broadband to the service providers on Services to ensure better 1st September, 2008 inter alia connectivity and improved mandating provision of tariff Quality of Service. information on each tariff plan MoNIToRING oF QUAlITY oF offered by them to telecom SERVICE (QoS) consumers with a view to ensure transparency in the tariff plans. 54. TRAI is mandated to lay down the parameters of quality of service to v The 48th Amendment to the be provided by the various service Telecommunications Tariff providers and to ensure the quality of Order was issued with a view to service. Accordingly, TRAI had issued enhance consumer transparency Regulation on Quality of Service for and protection. Basic and Cellular Mobile Services, v Nine Consumer Education prescribing QoS benchmarks. On Workshops (5 organized by 20th March, 2009, TRAI issued Annual Report 2008-09 25
  33. 33. The Standards of Quality of Basic through quarterly Performance Telephone Service (Wireline) and Monitoring Report (PMR) received Cellular Mobile Telephone Service from service provider. TRAI also Regulations, 2009 reviewing the monitors Point of Interconnection earlier regulation issued on the (POI) congestion through monthly subject in the year, 2005. reports received from Cellular Mobile Service Providers (CMSPs). Follow up 55. To regulate the Quality of Service meeting with the service providers to be observed by the MSOs/ were held for improving their Cable Operators in CAS notified performance with regard to quality of areas of Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai service. TRAI also monitors the level and Kolkata, TRAI had issued the of congestion at the POI between Standards of Quality of Service various Service Providers on Monthly (Broadcasting and Cable Services) basis. This parameter signifies the (Cable Television – CAS) Regulation, ease by which a customer of one 2006 in the year 2006. On 31 st network is able to communicate August, 2007 Direct to Home with a customer of another network. Broadcasting Services (Standards This parameter also reflects as to of Quality of Service and Redressal how effective is the interconnection of Grievances ) Regulation 2007 between two networks. The was issued prescribing Standards of benchmark notified by the TRAI in Quality of Service benchmarks for the QOS Regulations of July 2005 for Direct to Home (DTH) Broadcasting this parameter is <0.5%. Services. In the financial year, 2008-09, Standards of Quality of 57. The POI Congestion Report analysis Service (Broadcasting & Cable for the period ending March 2009 Services) (Cable Television – Non shows that the performance of CAS areas) Regulation, 2009 was the CMSPs with the respect to the issued prescribing the parameters congestion on POIs has deteriorated for Cable TV services in Non in the report of March 2009 as CAS areas. Also Direct to Home compared with the performance Broadcasting Services (Standards of December 2008. During the of Quality of Service and Redressal period Cellular Mobile Telephone of Grievances) (Amendment) Subscriber base has increased from Regulations 2009 was issued on 346.89 million in December 2008 to 12th March, 2009 to make certain 391.76 million in March 2009. The amendments in the principal number of POIs having congestion regulations dated 31 st August, 2007 has increased from 66 in December, mentioned above. 2008 to 76 in March 2009. These congestion reports were analysed 56. Performance of Basic and Cellular and findings of the analysis are Mobile service are monitored against brought to the notice of general the benchmarks prescribed by TRAI public. The findings of the analysis vide Regulation on Quality of Service were placed on the website of TRAI for Basic & Cellular Mobile Services 26 Annual Report 2008-09

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