New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Friday asked all service providers to ensure that they offer their customers per second billing plan along with other offerings."... it has become mandatory for service providers to offer in each service area at least one tariff plan each for both postpaid and prepaid subscriber with a uniform pulse rate of 'one second'," the regulator said in its order.

"The service providers will be at liberty to offer alternative tariff plans with any pulse rate within the overall ceiling of 25 tariff plans," TRAI said in the Telecommunication Tariff (51st Amendment) Order, 2012.

The charges for premium rate service currently levied by operators are substantially higher as compared to the normal tariff due to the fact that the charges levied include the price for content. Keeping in view the fact that calls and SMS made for participating in competition and voting hardly contain any content, the TRAI order also mandated that tariff for such calls and SMS shall not exceed four times of the applicable local call or SMS charges.

The amendment also provides flexibility to service providers to apply revision in international long distance tariff uniformly for new as well as existing subscribers. TRAI had issued a consultation paper in October last year on "Certain issues relating to Telecom Tariff" seeking views of stakeholders.

Most of the operators opposed when asked if one standard plan for all service providers particularly for a prepaid subscriber would be relevant in the present scenario of Indian telecom market. The regulator has also retained the existing cap of 25 tariff plans that can be offered by access service providers including post-paid and pre-paid.

(Agencies)