Telcos, industry body say compensation for call drop not a solution

By: | Updated: September 23, 2015 9:43 AM

Telecom companies and industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have argued that compensation to the consumers for call drops will not resolve the problem.

Telecom companies and industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have argued that compensation to the consumers for call drops will not resolve the problem.Telecom companies and industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have argued that compensation to the consumers for call drops will not resolve the problem.

Telecom companies and industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have argued that compensation to the consumers for call drops will not resolve the problem. Pitching against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) proposal mandating companies to compensate consumers for call drops, COAI has said in its response that high frequency is not a pan-India issue.

“The wireless technology by law of physics cannot provide 100% call retainability; hence the benchmark of 98% has been prescribed by the Trai for the call drop parameter. This is the practice internationally,” said COAI.

It further pointed out that as per the access licences, the operators are required to rollout network so as to cover 90% on street coverage in a minimum number of district and block headquarters. The criteria of 90% on street coverage has been set up considering that it’s not possible to provide 100% coverage in any area.

“Thus, we are of the view that compensating the consumer for call drop where there is no coverage by network design would effectively mean mandating 100%  coverage even inside the building and uncovered area which is against the provision of licence or Notice Inviting Applications,” the COAI added.

Bharti Airtel in its response has said that call drop is a localised phenomenon in some cells having extremely high traffic or due to poor or no coverage in that area which is generally on account of unavailability of sites to install equipment and antennas.

It has also argued that compensation to customers for call drops is majorly operators’ own business decision citing international instances wherein compensation for call drops is being provided by some operators.

“The voice continues to be the mainstay revenue generating source for the telcos with almost 85% of revenues recorded from this segment alone and hence, it is not possible for any operator to ignore the revenues from this segment,” Bharti Airtel said.

Idea Cellular has questioned Trai’s methodology of drive tests in Delhi and Mumbai, stating that it is non-transparent and hence, cannot be the basis for any fresh mandate, particularly when operators are meeting existing benchmarks. Vodafone submitted that widespread use of illegal jammers and wide band repeaters are causing call drops.

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