TRAI ex-chairman J S Sarma passes away

MNP, UASL and per-second billing were few of his game changing recommendations

j-s-sarmaJ S Sarma, former chairman of TRAI, is dead. He passed away after prolonged illness. He served as the chief regulator of the telecom industry from May 14, 2009 to May 13, 2012. He was succeeded by the current chairman Rahul Khullar.

Sarma died in Hyderabad on 28 February.

He was one of the most vocal sectoral regulator the industry has seen so far. Mobile number portability was introduced in the country with his recommendations. A pro-consumer in true sense who had always advocated to create a policy framework that benefits the consumer most, he had introduced a system where telecom operators could not activate value added services without the prior permission of the consumer. Before his tenure, the operators used to activate value added services like download of ringtones, caller tunes, games etc on consumer’s tariff plans without the consent of consumers.

One more achievement during Sarma’s tenure as chairman was the recommendation to de-link spectrum from license, which ultimately gave rise to the structure of  unified access service license, where any license holder can offer services on any technology available in the market.

Sarma was born in Vijayawada on September 4, 1948 and was a 1971 batch IAS officer of Andra Pradesh cadre. J S Sarma had in the past held key positions in government departments like fertilizer, rural development and defence.

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