Why TRAI should follow Ofcom for regulating telecoms

Telecom regular TRAI
British telecom regulator Ofcom today shared highlights of its future consultations for 2016-2017. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) needs to learn a lot from Ofcom.

Ofcom is also seeking response from stakeholders for finalizing its consultations for the coming months. This means, Ofcom is pro-active in deciding the consultation and seeking response before finalizing the topics for consultations.

On the other hand, TRAI, which has powers to recommend suggestions to regulate telecoms in India, usually prepares consultation papers based on short terms of needs of the government, telecom industry and other stakeholders.

For instance, last week, TRAI came out with its consultation paper on finalizing the price for 2G, 3G and 4G spectrum which needs to be auctioned before March 31, 2016. Interestingly, due to lack of coordination among ministries of defense, finance and telecom, TRAI is still not in a position to say “this much spectrum will be available for purchase.”

Development of 5G mobile technology is happening across the world. TRAI management has not yet started its preparation on 5G. 5G will happen in the next 4 years. India delayed the launch of both 3G and 4G, two advanced mobile broadband technologies.

TRAI has an impressive team headed by Chairman RS Sharma and full time members Vijayalakshmi K Gupta and Anil Kaushal and two part time members Rajiv Sharma and Jagdesh Kumar, in addition to advisors.

The UK telecom regulator has given details of consultations on quarterly basis, name of the responsible directors or senior members from Ofcom, focus areas of consultation, etc.

Promote competition and ensure that markets work effectively for consumers

Implementing the conclusions of Strategic Review of Digital Communications
Ensuring European regulatory frameworks adapt
Supporting competition in fixed line services through market reviews
Improving consumers’ and businesses’ ability to make informed choices
Monitoring price increases, providing advice and information on pricing, and making sure all consumers receive value from their communications providers
Further projects to promote choice and ensure that markets work effectively

Secure standards and improve quality

Ensuring adequate quality of service from Openreach
Supporting the UK Government on the broadband universal service obligation (USO)
Implementing the conclusions of the BBC Charter Renewal
Further projects to secure standards and improve quality

Protect consumers from harm

Addressing nuisance calls
Continuing to respond to emerging consumer issues
Further projects to protect consumers from harm

Baburajan K
[email protected]