Airtel asks TRAI to look into predatory pricing

Last Updated: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 16:29

New Delhi: At a time when mobile tariffs are touching the lowest levels, the market leader Bharti Airtel on Thursday sought sectoral regulator TRAI`s intervention to ensure that players do not resort to predatory pricing practices to woo subscribers.

"The Telecom Reuglatory Authority of India (TRAI) should look at predatory pricing," Bharti Airtel CEO Manoj Kohli told reporters here today.

With a view to retain and add new subscribers, the mobile operators have started offering tariffs as low as half-a-paisa per second.

Asked whether tariffs be regulated, Kohli said, "Tariffs
have to be sustainable in the long-run. TRAI should definitely
look at predatory pricing, that is tariff lower than the cost
structure of operators".

Eight new mobile operators have started or about to
start services in the country. Telecom Minister A Raja had
said that mobile tariffs should come down to 10 paise for
local calls and for 25 paise STD calls per minute.

Kohli, however, expressed concern about high rate of
taxes and levies being paid by telecom operators.

On further scope of tariff cuts, he said, "The next
level of tariff cuts would come from the reduction in high
taxes and levis which are burdening the telecom users. There
are 30-31 percent tax which the users have to bear right
now". If the tax burden is lowered, tariffs would come down
further, he said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 16:29
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