Opinion DC Comment 23 Apr 2016 Trai’s reprima ...

Trai’s reprimand to telecos was needed

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 23, 2016, 4:44 am IST
Updated Apr 23, 2016, 7:08 am IST
The courts, one feels, should not show the telecom companies any more leniency on call drops.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)
 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)

The fierce attack by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on the telecom companies was very necessary because of the recalcitrant attitude of the firms in attending to the enormous problem of call drops, which is growing worse by the day. The penalty of having to pay consumers for call drops is necessary as they are getting way with doing nothing and the consumer is helpless.

All the major operators give consumers the same bad service when it comes to call drops. The penalty is peanuts compared to the huge revenues the telecom firms earn. As the attorney-general, Mukul Rohatgi, pointed out to the Court that they earn a staggering Rs 1.42 lakh crore, and the penalty for dropped calls would cost them a mere Rs 256 crore (and not the exaggerated Rs 4,000 crore that they claim), which is not even one day’s revenue.

 

It also means that they are earning profits of up to 61 per cent and not investing even five per cent. Should they not be answerable for this greed and negligence as far as giving good customer service is concerned? The penalty was to be paid from January 1, 2016, and was just Re 1 for each call drop up to a maximum of three call drops a day.

The main problem is that their subscriber base has been growing enormously after the closure of BPL whose customers all migrated to the big three or four. Their networks have not been rolled out at the same pace. The Chinese, who have almost the same number of consumers as India, invest ten times more in networks than Indian companies do.

 

The courts, one feels, should not show the telecom companies any more leniency as they are only indulging in delaying tactics and giving one excuse after another.

They are not putting up telecom towers on the excuse that there is resistance due to a radiation scare. However, again as the A-G pointed out, the West, and even smaller countries, had used the latest technology and replaced cell-phone towers with equipment based on better technology that was neither obtrusive nor an eyesore. Why don’t the Indian telecom companies follow this technology instead of using the same old towers?

 

It is true that the consumers do not lose money, but they are losing precious time dialling repeatedly to complete one call. Imagine what happens during an emergency if a consumer cannot get in touch with his or her family or get any sort of help. So it is not only a question of money. Besides, people are paying for service and there is no excuse for not giving good, uninterrupted service. One hopes that Trai keeps up the heat on the telecom companies who have otherwise done a commendable job for communication growth in the country.

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
-->