After COAI, now Airtel gears to challenge TRAI’s alleged predatory pricing order

UIDAI

Expressing his disappointment with the recent regulations brought out by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on predatory pricing, chairman of telecom major Bharti airtel Sunil Mittal has said that he is going to challenge the order in a court of law.

Sunil added he will take the legal help as the order is keeping the telcos away from doing business rightfully.

He, however, urged the government to intervene in the matter related to Trai’s order, reports Financial Express.

Predatory pricing means the provision of a distinct telecommunication service in the relevant market at a price which is below the Average Variable Cost (AVC).

On Febuaray 16, Trai issued regulations on predatory pricing imposing a penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh per circle on mobile operators if they are found to indulge in such practices.

It had also advised that a tariff would be considered predatory if in a relevant market, an operator with over 30 per cent market share offers services at a price which is below the average variable cost, with a view to reduce competition or eliminate the competitors in the relevant market.

Earlier Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), had also reacted against the order. They had said that the latest tariff order amendment strengthens the ambitions of one particular operator with deep pockets.

However, Trai has suggested telcos that they are free to go to court and contest the order.

A quick look at recent developments in telco segment

Airtel is setting up a digital lab to work on innovating technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Video Reality and others. The new lab will develop a strong in-house technology capability for the company.

The telecom major has also formed an alliance with many global players like OneWeb, Sprint, Delta, GoGo, and Airbus to offer in-flight connectivity for both domestic and international flyers.

It has also partnered with Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei for bringing 5G network in the country. Recently, both the companies had conducted trial tests for the next generation network at Airtel’s Network Experience Centre in Manesar, Gurugram, which is considered as India’s first 5G network test.

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