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Union Government forms panel to resolve telecom penalty row

The Union Telecom Ministry has formed a committee to look into the regulator TRAI’s recommendation of a Rs. 3,050 crore penalty on top three telcos — Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

The committee has been asked to give a report on the recommendations soon likely to be before 15 November 2016.

What is the case?

  • Earlier TRAI had recommended Department of Telecom to impose penalty on these three incumbents telecom companies for denying interconnection points to Reliance Jio.
  • According to TRAI, these three companies have violated licence norms by denying adequate interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm.
  • Their actions also have stifled the competition and are seen as anti-consumer and against public interest.
  • The Reliance Jio had alleged that due to inadequate interconnection points its subscribers were unable to make calls to other networks.
  • TRAI had recommended fine for Airtel and Vodafone to Rs.1,050 crore for 21 service areas (all, expect Jammu and Kashmir) and for Idea the penalty was pegged at Rs 950 crore for 19 service areas (all, except for Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern States).

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TRAI recommends Rs 3,050 crore penalty on Airtel, Vodafone & Idea

Telecom Regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended Department of Telecom (DoT) to impose combined penalty of 3,050 crore rupees on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular.

It had mentioned that the penalty should be imposed on these telecom companies for allegedly denying interconnectivity to newcomer Reliance Jio.

What is the issue?

  • The Reliance Jio had alleged that due to inadequate interconnection points its subscribers were unable to make calls to other networks.
  • TRAI has found that these three companies have violated licence norms by denying adequate interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm.
  • Their combined actions have stifled the competition and are seen as anti-consumer and against public interest.

Now the DoT will decide on next course of action. If DoT finds violations of norms in all circles as mentioned by TRAI, these three telcos will be imposed combined penalty of Rs 3,050 crore.

About Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)

  • The TRAI is an independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India. It came into existence by the Act of the Parliament in 1997.
  • It was established in wake of entry of private sector in telecom industries after Government had constituted the National Telecom Policy (NTP) to attract domestic and FDI investment in the telecommunication sector.
  • Its main purpose is to deliver a fair and transparent environment for fair competition in telecom market. TRAI also fixes or revises the tariffs for telecom services in India.

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TRAI launches Myspeed App to measure real time mobile internet speed

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched ‘MySpeed’ mobile application for measuring real time mobile Internet speed that consumers get.

This is the first application to be launched under the Digital India initiative, which is directly trying to tackle the issue of poor data speeds.

Key facts

  • Consumers using this app can check the speed of their 3G or 4G connection or the home broadband’s Wi-Fi speed.
  • The application allows user to send coverage, data speed and network information along with device and location to a TRAI analytics portal.
  • It is available for download on Mobile Seva app store and also on Google Play store. It is compatible with smartphones running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and above
  • The data collected from this app will be directly relayed to TRAI’s analytics portal and keep them apprised of the internet speeds throughout India.

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