Continuous Downfall In MVAS Complaint And Billing Without Subscriber Consent – Far From Reality


The Indian Telecom Sector is experiencing regulations compliance deadline followed by regulation amendments. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) swing into action from 2010 to achieve higher protection and flexibility for subscriber. The intention was to create competitive environment through MNP, MVAS regulation and in-turn enforce better customer interaction management by wireless service provider. The broader vision was to enable subscriber choose their services or product or applications or even wireless operator.

During consultation processes with TRAI, most of the MVAS companies supported wireless operators to maintain the same mechanism running at that point of time instead of proposing new mechanism in order to protect their own interest too. The MVAS companies fall in the same cubical of wireless due to the fear factor of wireless service provider’s backlash in case of other way than network providers. The successful compliance by wireless service providers immediately opened new challenges for MVAS companies. MVAS companies started showing vulnerability in converting their service offering into paid service in MVAS regulatory environment of user initiated service request compared to network initiated service ennoblement.

Even after MVAS regulatory enforcement by TRAI, huge number of subscriber’s complaint to regulator regarding clear flaunting of processes by many MVAS players triggered another amendment. The regulatory amendment enforcing consent gateway implementation as must have clause for both Off Net and On Net players in order to continue their services. It opened the can of worms around malpractices in MVAS domain.

Recently, TRAI released report indicating fall in subscriber complaint post enforcement of consent gateway regulatory amendments. Regulatory bodies tried to take credit of subscriber pain point removal. The total number of MVAS complaint experienced dramatic fall from 259476 in June to 95510 in August 2013 whereas the MVAS billing without consent from subscriber in the said month also came down from 104996 to 9338. TRAI tried to claim that their initiatives improved overall QoS of MVAS as well as Billing without consent vs. Complaint ratio came down from 40.46% in June 2013 to 9.77% in August 2013.

It raises many queries such as initiatives to develop awareness within subscriber community by regulatory bodies, MVAS Service Providers and other ecosystem players. All TRAI claim is based on the number given by the service providers which service providers receive on their customer service Toll Free numbers. It is also interesting to note that many subscribers who try to launch their complaint on service providers customer care fails to receive the complaint ticket number.

Also how many Indian subscribers know their right about new activation, renewal, billing rollback, complaint and many more. The above number clearly indicates that less than 0.04% of the covered subscriber base of 700 million by TRAI is only facing issues around MVAS which is hard to digest. In a scenario, TRAI as well as wireless service provider initiate nationwide drive through print and TVC, the number would increase multi fold.

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