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  1. 1 point
    New complaint number to get unwanted mobile VAS deactivated. Telecom consumers can now register complaint about wrongful activation of value added services (VAS) like mobile Internet and caller tunes on a new common number, 155223, for all operators. Telecom operators will have to refund the amount charged for such activation of services if consumers inform about it within 24 hours on this common number. The service has been put in place by telecom operators jointly after telecom regulator Trai refused to give them any leeway in such cases from February 2. Operators reported compliance to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on February 1. "A common solution has now been devised for all of industry which will enable simple and easy exit. It came onto force on February 1," Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar told PTI. Subscribers who have been using any value added services beyond 24 hours can also request for deactivation of service on this number. Telecom operator will have to deactivate service within four hours of getting phone call but the customer will not be eligible to claim refund in such cases. On July 4, 2011 Trai directed telecom operators to obtain explicit consent of consumers "through consumer originated SMS or e-mail or FAX or in writing within 24 hrs of activation of the value added service and charge the consumer only if the confirmation is received from him" for subscribing it. The industry has objected to this direction and estimated Rs 12,000 crore revenue loss and over 10,000 job loss on complying with the direction. After failing to convince the regulator, industry body representing GSM players COAI approached telecom tribunal TDSAT but lost. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) gave telecom operators three months time (till February 2) to comply with the direction. As per the rule, operators will have to take consent of subscribers before activating any VAS and deactivate it without charging for it if no consent is received from them. Trai has asked operators to inform their subscribers about the new facility and also publish its details in newspapers. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/new-complaint-number-to-get-unwanted-mobile-vas-deactivated/articleshow/18369522.cms
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    The termination charges for SMS was fixed at 10 paisa but TRAI never monitored the transactions in SMS charges which resulted in operators sending messages without paying any termination charges to each other. The business logic for operators was that SMS constitutes a major chunk of their traffic thus non-charging would negate any payment towards termination charges. This resulted in operators offering free SMS packs with mutual understanding. This started choking the networks as new entrants also started the same practice of offering free or lower SMS rates pack. Older telecos are not comfortable with new entrants utilizing similar strategy as majority of old customers reside on their network. Thus Bharti Airtel recently started charging 10 paisa as termination charges without dolling out any favors to other networks Currently a voice call is charged less than a SMS. The SMS charges ranges from 50 paisa - Rs.1 without considering any value added package plans. Thus the levying of termination charges will bring transparency to the whole messaging system at the same time see irrational telecom packages going out of market and SMS charges falling inline with calling charges. This move will hardly increase SMS charges but if TRAI interferes to bring down the SMS prices as majority of this revenues goes into operators kitty it could start a downfall in SMS charges.The operators currently earn a hefty profit through messaging as network cost is minimal in terminating messages thus they needs to bring rationality in their chtarges to benefit the subscribers
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    By looking at the ferocity of the BWA auctions, the myth of India skipping 3G for 4G is going to become real. Now BWA auctions has become royal battle for 2 competing techologies of 4G ( WiMax Vs LTE (can also be read as Intel Vs Qualcommm)). It's great for the Indian consumers who have been deprived of fruits of 3G to have a direct landing in 4G straight from 2G. It's interesting to see whether operators who holds 3G spectrum will be deploying 3G or some compatible 4G technology straight in 3G spectrum. India is going to be first country in the world where 3G & 4G are going to be deployed simultaneously. Now it has become imperative for the regulator TRAI to speed-up the regulatory policy framework for 4G sooner than later. The speed at which 4G be deployed in India is completely in the hands of handset makers. We've to see how fast they can bring in TD-LTE and WiMax(if it wins atlease one slot) handsets into Indian market. It also depends on speed at which they can supply handsets which work in multiple modes (minimum 3 out of GSM,CDMA1X,EvDO,HSDPA,WiMax,TD-LTE). Here again I feel Aircel will surprise others like what it did during 3G auctions since they've very good experience in their limited fixed WiMax operations in Chennai and Bangalore. Still no one is clear even after 44 rounds of bidding which operators are looking for TD-LTE and who will go for WiMAX.