Call drops: Much more to do

Their grouse is lack of towers and proper infrastructure to roll out their networks

New Year 2016 will begin on a cheerful note for mobile users as telecom operators must pay Rs 1 for each call drop, but limited to three a day. This limit is really inadequate, but it is perhaps a beginning. Call drops were at the centre of a heated controversy over deteriorating services provided by telecom operators, and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had addressed these complaints by imposing financial penalties, with little visible success. It recently raised the penalty per quarter from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh and above. But this was skirting the main issue: the customer complaints on call drops. It was only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened, and said that the poor consumer was the worst hit, that Trai brought out the Rs 1 compensation plan. It has said it would watch the situation for six months, and then decide the next step.

The mobile phone companies are, meanwhile, planning to challenge this Rs 1 compensation order before the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal. Their grouse is lack of towers and proper infrastructure to roll out their networks. Trai attended to this too, and recently raised the spectrum provided and even allowed sharing and trading in spectrum. It remains to be seen how Trai handles these grouses by telecom operators, who have minted money by increasing the number of subscribers every month by leaps and bounds despite knowing that the infrastructure to handle such numbers is grossly inadequate. They have been making this claim for several months now.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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