TEL­COS RUN­NING CAR­TEL, MUST PAY PENALTY FOR CALL DROPS: TRAI

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Bhadra Sinha bhadra.sinha@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The country’s tele­com watch­dog de­fended on Thurs­day its de­ci­sion to im­pose call drop charges on tel­cos, ac­cus­ing them of run­ning a car­tel and in­vest­ing barely 4% of their in­come in in­fras­truc­ture up­grade de­spite earn­ing Rs250 crore a day.

The Tele­com Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity of In­dia ( Trai) had di­rected pri­vate mo­bile phone op­er­a­tors to credit a ru­pee to a user’s ac­count for ev­ery call drop from Jan­uary 1 this year. The move is aimed at curb­ing the nui­sance of call drops or snapped cell phone con­ver­sa­tions be­cause of tech­ni­cal and net­work glitches, which hurts mil­lions of phone users.

The Trai al­leged that the com­pa­nies have formed a car­tel to deny good ser­vice to con­sumers, though they earn Rs 1 lakh crore a year from voice calls.

“The daily rev­enue earned by th­ese com­pa­nies is Rs 250 crore. Be­tween 2010 and 2015, the sub­scriber base grew from 60 crore to 100 crore, which means a jump of 61%,” at­tor­ney gen­eral Mukul Ro­hatgi, who ap­peared for the tele­com reg­u­la­tor, told the Supreme Court. CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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