Even as the consultative process initiated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India mandating mobile operators to monetarily compensate their subscribers for call drops is under way, the country’s largest operator Bharti Airtel
on Monday said that it will shift all its prepaid users to a per-second-pulse billing plan, reports fe Bureau in
New Delhi. The move assumes significance because in a per-second-pulse billing, if there is a call drop the subscriber does not lose any money, so the issue of monetarily compensating the subscriber does not arise. The bulk of Airtel’s users are already on the per-second billing and whatever little are not will be moved to it, the company said. Of the Bharti’s 236 million total subscriber base, around 95% use prepaid cards. Overall, the industry trend is also similar, meaning that out of around a total subscriber base of 950 million, 90-95% are on prepaid.
This means that once other players also follow Bharti’s lead, which is quite imminent, the financial compensation for call drops will largely become redundant.
The Trai consultation paper on call drops quotes the industry-provided number of subscribers on per-second-pulse billing at 71%. However, Trai has disputed this, saying that only 59% are on per-second-pulse billing while 41% are on a per-minute-pulse plan.