Telecos to be fined up to Rs 10 L for call drops

Faith Castro
August 19, 2017

The Indian telecom watchdog on Friday announced stricter rules over call drops and said telecom operators who don't meet the norms can be fined at least Rs 5 lakh. It is a graded penalty system, depending on the performance of a network, " RS Sharma, chairman, Trai, told reporters in New Delhi.

As per the current Quality of Service Rule, penalty on call drop was Rs 50,000 per violation.

Revised methodology for assessment of Drop Call Rate (DCR) will be on percentile basis instead of existing basis of average call drop.

Tightening regulations, telecom regulator TRAI today raised the penalty on telecom operators to 5 lakh rupees for poor mobile service quality, including call drops.

The secretary of TRAI, S K Gupta said that the regulator has measured Call Drop Rate (CDR) in more granular from circle level to mobile towers.

Similarly, he said, call drop during 97 per cent of time should not be more than 3 per cent on 90 per cent of mobile sites in a telecom circle during peak hours of the day.

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The regulator said the averaging in effect hides the poorly performing cells. "We have added a temporal (time-based) and a spatial (geography-based) calculation for call drops".

The call drop should not exceed 2% for 90% of telecom towers for an operator for 90 days in a circle. "As there are a lot of technicalities involved in call drops, if and when they occur they do in pockets; therefore, a collaborative approach is the most conducive one for resolving this challenge, which the industry has been grappling with on an everyday basis, despite additional investments and constant enhancement of infrastructure", Mathews said. The Authority had come to know that some operators had set RLT values high to mask call drops as a disconnected call in case of weak network strength.

The industry body, Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), said the industry has always placed consumer experience at its centre and these rules are in place to ensure that all the operators remain fully compliant.

Penalties for failing to meet the quality of service benchmarks have been increased too.

He said that the quality of service available from a network is dependent on a number of extraneous factors which may not only be environmental such as the number of users accessing the network at that time, area covered by the base station, whether the customer is indoors or outdoors etc.

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