Rs 10 lakh PENALTY for CALL DROPS, telecom companies CRYING

“We have proposed financial disincentive in the range of Rs. 1-5 lakh. It is a graded penalty system depending on the performance of a network,” TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma told presspersons here.

TRAI Secretary (Acting) S.K. Gupta said if an operator fails to meet a call drop benchmark in consecutive quarters, the penalty amount will be increased 1.5 times and in the third consecutive month it will be doubled.

“However, there is cap of Rs. 10 lakh on financial disincentive,” Gupta said.

Under the previous Quality of Service Rule, the penalty on call drop was Rs. 50,000 per violation.

After the revision, the regulator has made measurement of call drop rates more granular from the circle level to mobile towers in a circle.

“There have been some issues in measurement of call drops. Averages hide a lot of things. Under the new rules, we are taking into account temporary issues in the network as well as geographical spread of the network,” Sharma said.

Under the revised rule, 90 per cent of the base transceiver station or mobile site in a telecom circle 90 per cent of the time should not fail to handle 98 per cent of the calls, which means not more than 2 per cent of the calls handled by them should drop.

In the worst affected case or busy hour of the day, not more than 3 per cent of call drops should be registered on 90 per cent of mobile towers in a telecom circle.

The regulator also fixed a benchmark for radio-link time out technology (RLT) — allegedly used by telecom operators for masking call drops.

RLT is used for continuation of a call in case a subscriber is moving or is in a base network area for a short period. It is the time used for connecting the call of a subscriber from one mobile tower to another.