Major telecom stocks such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications fell significantly during morning trade after the telecom regulator said yesterday in Geneva that it was considering per second billing mandatory. Currently, calls are billed on a per-minute basis and users pay for unutilized seconds even if a call is terminated in ten seconds.
“We are looking at the possibility of making service providers offer to consumers per second pulse as a mandatory option to be provided. Hopefully, in a month or a month-and-a-half we might like to come out with a consultation paper,” J.S. Sarma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, said in Geneva yesterday (via CNBC TV18), on the sidelines of the ITU Telecom World event.
Adoption of the per-second billing model will result in 10-15% losses in telecom industry revenues, according to an August study by HSBC Securities and Capital Markets, The Economic Times reported.
Idea Cellular Ltd and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd also fell on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The benchmark Sensex index was down 186.39 points, or 1.11%, at the time of writing.