The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is a statutory body established by the Government of India under section 3 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. It is the regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country. It constituted of a Chairperson and not more than two full-time members and not more than two part-time members.
One of the major objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
In pursuance of above goals, TRAI has issued from time to time a large number of regulations, orders and directives to deal with issues coming before it and provided the needed direction to the evolution of Indian telecom market from a Government owned monopoly to a multi-operator multi-service open competitive market.
The directions, orders, and regulations issued envelope a wide range of subjects including tariff, interconnection, and quality of service as well as governance of the Authority.
The TRAI Act was altered by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI. TDSAT was established to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service giver, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.
TRAI is administered by a Secretariat headed by a secretary. All proposals are processed by the secretary, who manages the agenda for Authority meetings (consulting with the Chairman), prepares the minutes and issues regulations in accordance with the meetings. The secretary is helped by advisors. These covers Mobile Network, Interconnection and Fixed Network, BroadBand and Policy Analysis, Quality of Service, Broadcasting & Cable Services, Economic Regulation, Financial Analysis & IFA, Legal, Consumer Affairs & International Relation and Administration & Personnel. Officers are nominated from the premier Indian Telecommunications Service and also from the Indian Administrative Service.
In order to grow broadband penetration in India, TRAI has proposed WANI (Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) architecture. If implemented, it may lead to establishing of Public Data Offices (PDOs) where Wi-FI Internet would be available on demand. TRAI concerned the same with PCOs which were used to do the voice calls and were very popular hotspots before the mobile phones or home landlines became the ultimate mode of communication.