The Indian Journal of Law and Technology in association with the Centre for Internet and Society (IJLT-CIS) , Bangalore is organising the 3rd IJLT-CIS Lecture Series at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. The lecture series will be spread out over the course of the year and will include eminent speakers who will talk with the students and other interested persons on their topics of expertise. Rohan Samarajiva, Chair and CEO of LIRNEasia will deliver the inaugural lecture on Tariff Regulation in South Asia. Tariff regulation has in the recent past attracted the attention of both the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India as well as the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal, as well as the Department of Telecom at the Union Ministry of Communications. India has a burgeoning and competitive cellular services provider market, and tariff regulation has far-reaching impact on this industry.
At the opening, Sunil Bharti Mittal had announced that Airtel was raising prices. And I was the lead on the panel of tariff regulation on the second day. I was ready for fireworks, but it was sedate. Only spark was on why roaming prices were not regulated. I first talked about where prices levels were: South Asia with the lowest prices for voice (Bangladesh was the cheapest, though many Indians insist they are).
Namibia poses an interesting question. The regulator acts to reduce one of the key costs of providing offnet calls, the mobile termination rate. But the operator holding 85 percent market share refuses to make a corresponding reduction in offnet call charges. Now the regulator has responded by ordering reduction of offnet call charges. Namibia has led SA in cutting call termination rates — the fees the operators charge one another to carry calls between their networks.