The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) advocating that the sustainable solution to the current crisis in the sector is an increased tariff.
COAI has argued that there is an urgent need for tariff correction for data as it is currently 50 times lower than developed markets.
COAI, which in recent times has been at loggerheads with Reliance Jio, has sought a minimum tariff for data citing money requirement by the industry as it evolves in terms of technology.
The cellular operators' body has also reiterated its demand for lower taxes.
"The rationalization of taxes and levies will provide a semblance of relief, while the sustainable remedy can only be the increase in tariffs," reads the leader.
Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have announced to raise mobile calls and internet prices for prepaid customers by up to 50 percent from December 3, while Reliance Jio has said it will roll out new plans with 40 percent higher rates on December 6.
COAI welcomed these hikes saying that it will be benefit customers, the government and the industry.
"This (rate hike) is going to be in the benefit of customers, government and the industry. From the customers' perspective, these tariffs will enable operators to do required and necessary improvements in the telecom network which has been languishing because of financial stress in the sector. In the upcoming short period, we should begin to see improvement in customer experience and services," COAI Director-General Rajan Mathews said.
This is the first hike in the past five years in the country's telecom space that was facing tariff war, with voice calls becoming almost free in 2016 and steep 95 percent fall in data prices to Rs 11.78 per GB at present from Rs 269 per GB in 2014.
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