Telcos Want More Time to Enforce New Call Drop Norms: Trai Chief
Cos want to put in place some systems, their request will be examined, he says
New Delhi: Telecom operators have sought more time to implement stricter rules aimed at preventing call drops, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman RS Sharma said on Friday.
“They have not opposed it (new rules) but they have asked for more time. They want to put in some systems... We will examine their request,” he said. In the new rules issued on August 18, Trai set penalties of up to ₹ 10 lakh per circle in a quarter on operators failing to meet voice quality benchmarks. The quality of voice service will now be measured at the base station level instead of the circle level. The rules, effective October 1, are also aimed at ensuring coverage in underserved areas
The telecom industry is fully committed to work with the authority to ensure the highest quality of service standards for customers, said Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India.
“However, the implementation of the new rules will require major changes in existing systems and processes and require alignment with concerned stakeholders/vendors. The implementation of the revised measurement methodology will also require building of new systems and software development and hence we have sought more time from Trai,” Mathews said. They mandate telecom operators to pay ₹ 1 lakh to ₹ 5 lakh — depending on the extent of the violation — in a quarter. Violations in consecutive quarters will result in 1.5 times the penalty levied in the first quarter and twice that if they continue in the third quarter, subject to a cap of ₹ 10 lakh in a three-month period.
The new and stricter rules on call drops are meant to overcome a shortcoming in the earlier method of assessing a network’s performance in a service area over a month, which would mask individual cell sites that functioned poorly or not at all on some days.