HYDERABAD: Former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman J S Sarma passed away in Hyderabad on February 28, following a brief ailment. He was 65 years of age.
Sarma presided over as chairman for TRAI, stretching in a tenure from May 14, 2009, to May 13, 2012.
Throughout Sarma’s tenure at TRAI, the Supreme Court cancelled 122 2G licences and directed the regulator to recommend steps to auction the spectrum in the same manner as 3G was sold in 2010. He had championed a number of telecom reforms as well.
The mobile number portability was introduced during Sarma’s regime, allowing customers to switch telecom operators without changing their mobile numbers.
The per-second billing plan was also mandated during his tenure. He initiated the process to stop telecom operators from activating value-added services such as mobile Internet and caller tunes without permission from the consumer.
Sarma’s successor and present chairman Rahul Khullar implemented the regulation in July 2013 with a provision that entitles customers to refund of money deducted for value-added services provided without their permission.
Sarma, a 1971 batch Indian Administrative Service officer from the Andhra Pradesh cadre held a number of key positions in various departments of the state and central governments. He was a member of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal and served as the Telecom Secretary before becoming TRAI chairman.