Even as the government and Trai push for compensating subscribers for call drops, state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL on Thursday joined their private sector peers in opposing any such move.
At an open house session on the Trai’s consultation paper on the subject, officials of the two firms warned against any regulation on the matter. They said that the issue of any compensation should be left to the operators who can provide some free minutes to the subscribers but there should not be any regulation on the matter.
The open house session witnessed repeated tiff between the mobile operators and consumer organisations who spiritedly want compensation.
An official representing a private operator explained that they were not bound to provide mobile services at every nook and corner but in free space and roadside areas as per the licensing conditions. But Trai chairman RS Sharma countered and questioned that if that was the case they should advertise the same while providing connections to the customers.
Telecom consultant Mahesh Uppal said the scale of the problem is such that implementation will be a major issue, supporting industry’s concern on how would they identify genuine call drops or abnormal calls. However, consumer groups countered his claim and said that all technical solutions and systems are available to identify abnormal calls.
Another telecom industry represetative pointed out why state run BSNL and MTNL do not offer private telcos support of their vast telecom network.
Trai chairman R S Sharma said after the event that he would come out with his recommendations on compensating consumers for call drops by October 15 and would release a service paper in the next few days listing reasons behind the menace. “We will present the ground situation on call drops in data terms,” Sharma explained.