Telecom operators, including Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications, through industry bodies, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Telecom Service of India (AUSPI), countered inputs opposing the idea of pricing the Internet services.
"Price differentiation will allow TSPs to cater to specific consumer requirements, including facilitation of access to those segments that are currently unconnected or poorly connected. Price differentiation is a widely adopted business practice used in many industries," COAI and AUSPI
said in their joint countercomments to Trai.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India invited public comments to firm up its views over services that lead to differential pricing of data and January 14 was the last date for submitting countercomments on the same.
Internet Democracy Project (IDP), one of the stakeholders, countered the TSPs, saying telecom operators' comment on Internet-based calling services or VoIP to charge different rates for the Internet and the current debate should not be mixed up.
Another entity, Internet Service Providers Association of India changed its stance slightly in countercomments, saying a blanket ban on non-discriminatory data differential tariff would have an adverse impact on the proliferation of Internet service and may affect tariff innovation.