The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked all telecom operators to submit daily updates on their network performance, including call drops and voice quality, in a notification dated January 12. The TRAI has also asked telcos to upload daily cell network parameters data to server of TCCMS (Telecom Consumer Complaint Monitoring System) portal of the authority through web-service within ten days.
All mobile service providers are required to submit number of performance parameters including type of network like 2G, 3G or 4G, call drop details, congestion in network, successful calls, voice quality, etc.
In October 2015, the TRAI mandated that all telecom operators will have to pay Re 1 to compensate consumers in case of call drops. The new regulations will be effective from January 1, 2016. However, consumers’ ability to get credit into their accounts due to call drops is limited to three in a day.
Telecom operators, however, moved the Delhi High Court through industry associations, Auspi and COAI by filing a case in December, challenging the regulator’s order and calling for a stay on the decision. TRAI told the court that imposing a fine on telecom operators by asking them to compensate customers for call drops, is a matter of policy decision, which the court should not transgress upon.
TRAI consultation paper on call drops
In June, the Department of Telecom had suggested the TRAI that operators should offer free minutes or credit to tackle the issue of frequent call drops. Accordingly, the telecom regulator asked operators to submit a plan of action to tackle call drops in July and started a consultation paper (pdf) in August.
According to the consultation paper, the regulator conducted Independent Drive Tests in the months of June and July in Delhi and Mumbai and found that call drop rate of most of the telecom service providers was higher than the benchmark of <=2%, set by the Authority.
TRAI also pointed out that telcos made investments in network infrastructure (other than radio spectrum) of only Rs 9,325 crore in 2013-14. It said that during this period, the minutes of usage grew by 6.8% while investments in network infrastructure grew only by 4.6%.
Airtel and BSNL spectrum agreement
In August, telecom operators BSNL and Airtel said that they were in preliminary talks for sharing spectrum through intra circle roaming arrangements.
“Bharti Airtel being one of the largest telecom service providers of India, would like to … partner with your organisation for the said arrangements to address issues pertaining to call drops and for optimum utilisation of allocated spectrum. We sincerely hope that we would be given an equal opportunity to participate in a fair, open and transparent manner,” Airtel had said.