Idea seeks to re-negotiate Trai’s policy on call drops

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New Delhi | October 22, 2015 12:40 AM

Acknowledging that the recently announced policy on call drops by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has failed to take into consideration a few important points, Idea Cellular on Wednesday said...

Acknowledging that the recently announced policy on call drops by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has failed to take into consideration a few important points, Idea Cellular on Wednesday said that it wanted to re-enter in a dialogue with Trai on the same.

At a media briefing to announce the company’s July-September numbers, Himanshu Kapania, MD, Idea Cellular said that the regulations need to take into account a lack of calldrop feeding technology. “As far as physics of radiowave is concerned, there is no call drop feeding technology that is currently available. Propagations of the frequency that is available on mobile technology, whether it is 2G, 3G or 4G cannot provide you a guaranteed call drop free situation at all points even if you had to make unlimited investments. That’s why globally 2% of minimum grade of service is applicable which is not allowed in the present regulations for India,” said Kapania.

He also pointed out that given the current penalty calculation which is based on per second billing gives an incentive  to customers to drop the call.

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“We understand that penalty for a call drop, the way it is conceived by Trai and that most of our customers on pre-paid, per second billing, there is an incentive to drop the call and earn incentive of the order of 100 times to this. There could be a very large impact on the industry on overall basis ,” added Kapania.

Idea Cellular on Wednesday reported below expectations earnings for the July-September quarter with net profit of Rs 809.3 crore, down 13% compared to the preceding quarter. Bloomberg consensus estimates pegged the telecom major to report a bottom line of Rs 835 crore.

The weak second quarter of the fiscal, also witnessed an impact of increasing number of rural subscribers had on total voice minutes of use. The parameter contracted 3.2% q-o-q to 189.5 billion also as average voice revenue per user (voice ARPU) declined to Rs 126 compared to Rs 134 in Q1FY16 and Rs 139, in three months to September 2014.

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