Trai slams telcos for suggesting users may manipulate call drop penalty rule

Call drop is not only a loss for consumers but also for telecom operators, says Airtel

GN Bureau | November 30, 2015



Telecom regulator RS Sharma has slammed mobile phone operators for "insulting" their subscribers by saying that many will deliberately drop calls to claim compensation.

The chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India also debunked their claim of Rs 54,000 crore in potential annual revenue loss. In an interview to ET he reiterated that Trai's order mandating telcos to compensate users for call drops - subject to a maximum of three a day - would be implemented from January 1, unless there's legal intervention.

"The industry is now saying 50 crore people in this country will game the system. Are you telling me that 50 crore people in this country will run to get Rs3 through a call drop every day? You are insulting the customers," Sharma said.

Meanwhile, Bharti Enterprises vice chairman Akhil Gupta said today that call drop is not only a loss for consumers but also for telecom operators as they invest thousands of crores in buying spectrum but are unable to use it for delivering services due to lack of mobile towers. The company owns Airtel telecom services.

"Operators do not make money from call drops as there are per second billing plans. They are losing enormous amount of money and reputation from call drops", Gupta has said.

The Trai has issued a new rule under which telecom operators will have to pay Rs 1 for each call drop that is limited to three complaints a day.

The telecom operators said that due to this rule, the penalty may be to the tune of Rs 54,000 crore annually, but according to the regulator, it will much less to the tune of Rs 800 crore per year.

Bharti Airtel also announced today an investment of Rs 60,000 crore over three years on expanding networks that will help improve the quality of services.

Gupta said one of the main hurdles in installing mobile towers is the protest from resident welfare association due to misinformation they have about the health hazard from radiation.

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