NEW DELHI Oct 6 India's telecom regulator plans to ask operators to bill customers on a per-second basis from the the current per-minute billing, media reported on Tuesday, a move that could hit the revenue of companies.
Sixth-ranked operator Tata Teleservices [TATASL.UL] had recently introduced a per-second billing plan for its GSM customers, which helped it sign up its highest-ever 3.4 million subscribers in August.
Most other operators charge customers for at least a minute even if they use less than that.
"We may ask all operators to consider the per-second pulse as a mandatory option along with their other tariff plans," J.S. Sarma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.
Sarma was speaking on the sidelines of the ITU World Summit in Geneva.
HSBC said in a research report in August per-second billing was the most "disruptive" plan, and if all operators adopt it the sector's revenue could fall by 10-15 percent.
The Economic Times said Sarma did not give a time frame for implementing the per-second billing plan, but said the regulator would first issue a consultation paper seeking the industry's views. (Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)