The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked all telecom operators to submit a report on the action they’re taking to deal with call drops by 31 July, reports NDTV. TRAI’s letter to the telecom companies stated that it was necessary for service providers to ‘undertake a special drive for radio frequency optimisation, analyse the reason of call drops and take appropriate steps’. The TRAI benchmark allows a call drop rate of less than 2%.

Dropped call reimbursement: Last month, the Department of Telecom suggested to TRAI that telecom operators could provide free minutes in talk time to consumers whose calls drop. The DoT also said that it had asked TRAI to build a ‘disincentive’ mechanism in order to reduce the number of call drops that consumers face. In case telcos did not adhere to TRAI’s service quality benchmark, they should be levied with a penalty, the department added.

TRAI tested through its monitoring devices: In April, TRAI was working on a set of service quality benchmarks which included call drops, billing, complaint redressal time and time taken to attend customer calls, in order to take stricter action against telcos who did not follow it. TRAI had carried out a 3 month pilot to test call drops and got new devices which would monitor call drops across all telcos in the country.

Top call drop complaints against Airtel: In the same breath, Airtel became the number one operator whose call drop complaints (31) flooded the TRAI this year (up to 30 June), followed by Vodafone (17) , Idea Cellular (10) and BSNL (10), ET reported. This was the response given by Telecom minister RS Prasad to the Lok Sabha. Reliance Communications had 8 complaints, MTS had 2 and Aircel and Tata had one each for the same period.

According to the data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Airtel added the highest number of GSM connections in June 2015, taking its connection base to 230.66 million. Idea Cellular added 1.62 million connections in June, taking its connection base to 162.07 million. Airtel added 1.21 million connections in June, taking its connection base to 230.66 million.

Mobile number portability requests and rollout: Earlier this month, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance started implementing mobile number portability (MNP). Note that porting requests were submitted for 3.24 million connections in the month of May 2015, according to the TRAI. These were up 2.26% from 3.16 million porting requests reported in April 2015. India had a total mobile connection base of 975.78 million connections (868 million active) as of May 2015. India doesn’t yet have number portability across service areas, the deadline for which has been extended to July 2015.

Image Credit: Flickr user Meghana Kulkarni