Trai cracks the whip: Operators to pay consumers Re 1 per call drop from 1 Jan
The operators are though opposing any move for compensation on call drops while the consumers are strongly backing it
Telecom companies will have to pay Re 1 compensation to consumers for call drops from 1 January 2016, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said today.
However, such credit in the account of the caller shall be limited to 3 dropped calls in a day, the Trai said in a press release today.
The operators will also have to send a message through SMS to the caller within 4 hours of the occurrance of the call drop and the details of the amount credited in his account, the release said.
In case of post-paid consumers, the details of the credit have to be provided in the next bill, said the telecom regualtor.
Call drops have been a contentious issue in the country over the last few months, with the government charging that the companies were not making enough investments to set up towers, while companies have been complaigning of spectrum shortage.
The compensation has been arrived at after vetting the proposals Trai received on its discussion paper on the issue. The consumers and companies had given inputs on the paper that proposed compensating callers for call drops.
The regulator has been tightening the screws on operators to improve the quality of service over the last few months.
On Thursday, it raised the penalty on telecom operators to up to Rs 2 lakh for poor mobile service quality, including call drops.
The penalty will be imposed if the operators are unable to meet the benchmark set for the quality of service in two or more subsequent quarters, it said.
As per the rules, call drop, availability of mobile towers, time taken for a call to connect, network congestion, voice quality and network related issues feature in the Trai's service quality parameters.
There has been no significant improvement in the call drop issue in Mumbai and Delhi as operators are lagging on various fronts in meeting the standards, Trai said yesterday.
It said in Mumbai no operator is meeting the benchmark while in Delhi three top players Airtel, Vodafone and Aircel are found to be lagging in offering good
Trai will come out with a quality of service paper in the next few days which will identify the reasons responsible for call drops.
It is also considering making it mandatory for telecom operators to disclose their network capacities periodically, as it feels that call drop problem needs to be examined in entirety.
The operators are though opposing any move for compensation on call drops while the consumers are strongly backing it.
The operators said there are many things which are responsible for call drops and not all are under their control. They also said the cost to set up a mechanism for tracking call drops will be huge.
With inputs from PTI. Data by Kishor Kadam
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