Telecom companies will have to start compensating mobile subscribers for call drops from Friday, subject to a cap of Rs 3 a day (Rs 1 for each call drop) per subscriber.
The chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), R S Sharma on Thursday said its order on compensating for call drops comes into effect from January 1. The Trai had on October 16 ordered mandating compensation for call drops as the issue has become rampant. The matter is subjudice and the next hearing on the matter in the Delhi High Court is on January 6, said Sharma. The Delhi High Court on December 22 refused to stay the telecom regulator’s order mandating mobile service providers to compensate subscribers for call drops beginning January 1. The Trai had told the court that it will not take any coercive action against erring telcos until the next date of hearing on January 6. However, the regulations would come into force from Friday as was decided.
Cellular Operators Association of India, the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and telecom companies had approached the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of Trai’s order that mandated compensation for call drops.
Telecom companies have argued before the Court that the Trai’s regulation on call drops was unfair as the laws of physics make it impossible to provide a 100% call drop-free network.
The telcos have also questioned Trai’s powers and stated that the regulator was wrongfully exercising its power to impose such a penalty on telcos. However, Trai has maintained that it has acted well within the power entrusted to it as a regulator.