TRAI to petition for greater powers

3 Jun 2016

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is seeking greater powers to penalise cellcos for missing quality of service (QoS) standards, after the Supreme Court overturned its order obliging providers to compensate consumers for dropped calls. The Economic Times quotes TRAI secretary Sudhir Gupta as saying that the watchdog will write to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to request an amendment to the TRAI Act to give the authority more powers: ‘We have sought powers to levy penalties for consumer redressal’. The announcement follows a QoS test carried out by the regulator in the capital which found that most carriers had not met the 2% threshold for dropped calls, and that service quality for several operators had degraded since the previous test. Further, according to the regulator, Radio Link Timeout (RLT) technology is being used to mask dropped calls, by keeping calls connected even when service quality drops. In these cases, calls are ended by the user and are not counted as dropped calls. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) rejected the claims that RLT manipulation was being used to hide dropped calls. The DoT’s monitoring arm, Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells is investigating the claim, a TRAI official added.