New Delhi: Telecom regulator TRAI on March 18 said it will comply with the Supreme Court order asking it to consider the technical aspects of calls drops and if regulations on penalty could be amended.
"Whatever has been ordered by the Supreme Court shall be complied with," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R S Sharma said. Yesterday, the Supreme Court asked the regulator to consider the papers dealing with technical aspects of call drops and apprise it of its stand on whether it could consider amending regulations to impose penalty on telecom firms.
"Factually, it appears that nobody has seen technical papers on the day of (framing of) regulation. Please take into account the technical paper and tell us in affidavit whether you consider amending the regulations or you still want to stand by it. Whatever you have to say, tell us with reasons," the bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph said.
The bench also said prima facie it appeared that TRAI's technical papers, which cite reasons for call drops, were not taken into account while framing the 2015 regulation.
"Because the matter is sub-judice pending before the apex court of the country, it will not be appropriate for me to make any kind of observation. The only observation which I can make is that the orders of the Supreme Court shall be carried out in letter and spirit. That's what I can say," Sharma said in an interview to CNBC.
The TRAI chairman said as the matter is pending in the court, whatever argument will be made on behalf of TRAI will be done so in the court of law. TRAI will conduct another round of drive tests in April to see if there is an improvement in the call drop problem.
"We are going to conduct another test next month and we will find out whether there has been any significant improvement or not... there was no improvement when the tests were done last December," Sharma said.
On making government land available for setting up mobile towers, the chairman clarified that nowhere in the licensing conditions of the telecom service providers it is provided that the government will make land available for towers or make other arrangements.
As for Net neutrality, Sharma said it will soon come out with a consultation paper and take another 2-3 months to formulate its views on the matter. TRAI has received a communication from the Department of Telecom (DoT) for its views on the matter....