Call drop: TRAI seeks more powers to penalise telcos

RSTV Bureau
A person using a mobile. Photo: RSTV

A person using a mobile.
Photo: RSTV

With no solution to the call drop menace so far, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has sought powers from the government to penalise mobile operators.

On Wednesday, TRAI made public it’s test drive data in Delhi which revealed that most service providers failed to even maintain the benchmark threshold.

“As hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement has observed that TRAI does not have power to impose such (call drop) penalty on telecom operators, we will write to DoT today for amendment in TRAI Act to give us more power,” TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta said.

Last month, the Supreme Court shot down TRAI’s regulation that made it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drops. The apex called TRAI’s regulation “arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent”.

TRAI had mandated telecom operators to compensate consumers Re 1 for each call drop with upper limit at Rs 3 per day.

The Telecom regulator published data of test drive it had conducted in Delhi between May 3 and May 6.

“Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Aircel and Idea need to further improve the Call Drop Rate performance. The CDMA operators and MTNL need to improve across all parameters, in order to offer acceptable levels of service,” said TRAI’s report.

“All 3G networks; 2G networks of Airtel and MTNL and CDMA network of RCom have shown degradation in performance compared to previous drive test,” said the report even as telecom operators continue to claim to have improved network by installing additional mobile towers.

“In case of Call Drop Rate most of the operators except Reliance 2G and Vodafone 3G are not meeting the threshold of the benchmark,” the report added.

TRAI will publish another report in the next fortnight of a test drive it conducted in 12 Indian cities.

(With inputs from PTI)