If you cursed yourself for having a mobile service provider on which you could not participate in KBC2, then here is good news for you. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is now mulling to allow access to all such services, including free phone or toll free numbers, tele-voting services, premium numbers like services offered by astrologers to customers of all service providers.
Till now, these services, available through what is called Intelligent Network (IN), were either exclusive to particular service providers or denied by some service providers. But now with mobile phones being used more frequently for such services, TRAI has made its mind to end such exclusivities of service providers.
“It shall be mandatory for all licensed telecom service providers to provide interconnection of their Service Control Point to all access providers so that subscribers of all access providers could have a free choice of using the Intelligent Network Services of other licensed service providers. In no case shall the access service provider block its consumers from accessing Intelligent Network Services of his choice that are available in multi-operator, multi-network scenario,” TRAI said in a statement.
The telecom regulator has started the consultation process with all service providers in this regard and may issue regulations to this effect by next January. “All stakeholders could give comments and observations over a period of 15 days, that is, till December 16, 2005. Based on consideration of the stakeholder response, TRAI should be in a position to issue the regulation in January 2006,” the statememt added.
However, the facility will be provided in a way so as not to harm the service providers financially. “Based upon the service features and network architecture, the charging, billing and sharing of revenues may be decided by the concerned service providers through mutual commercial arrangement while being consistent with prevailing regulations, directions and orders of the authority and prevailing licence conditions,” TRAI said.
“Intelligent Network Services as such, is not a separate class of service. Neither does NTP 99 recognise this as a separate service nor has the licensor categorised it as a separate service. It is only a different means of providing a service. Therefore, Interconnect Usage Charges, as applicable from time to time, will apply for the services provided by operator in multi-operator, multi-network scenario. Interconnect agreement between service providers shall include Intelligent Network access,” TRAI maintained.