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Weeks after disallowing entities in the sector from differential pricing in data services, R S Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, is busy in clearing confusion over the exemption given for a closed electronics communications network (CECN). He explains the position to Mansi Taneja. Edited excerpts:
How will you resolve the confusion on the exemption?
The regulation is clear that whatever isn't a part of the internet won't come under the new regulation. This applies to differential tariffs (rates) or data only to services provided through the internet.
The operators have asked for clarity on CECN, on the structure and rate plans they can have.
We will be soon be coming out with FAQs (frequently asked questions) on this matter. It will specify what can be offered and what will be restricted. We are ready to meet and discuss any issues.
Experts have been saying an exemption for CECN might be misused.
Our regulation provides for checks against misuse. It says the exemption for CECN will not be given if such rates are offered or charged by the service provider for the purpose of "evading the prohibition" for discriminatory tariffs (rates). We will intervene if there is any evasion.
When will Trai come out with its views on regulation for Over The Top (OTT) players, a long-standing demand from service providers?
We will soon take a final view.