Call drops: Good news for mobile phone users, Trai unlikely to grant telcos extension quality norms rollout

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Published: September 19, 2017 6:37:15 AM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is not expected to provide any relief to the telecom operators on implementation of the new quality of service (QoS) regulations to check call drops as requested by the industry body COAI.

TRAI, CoAI , QOSThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is not expected to provide any relief to the telecom operators on implementation of the new quality of service (QoS) regulations to check call drops as requested by the industry body COAI. (Image: IE)

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is not expected to provide any relief to the telecom operators on implementation of the new quality of service (QoS) regulations to check call drops as requested by the industry body COAI. Last month, Trai came out with stringent QoS norms for telcos; not only it dis away with past method of calculating call drops, also but hiked the fine amount to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh. The new method for calculating call drops is now based on a percentile basis as Trai wants to check poor performance of those base transreceiver stations (BTS) that have not been performing for some days during the observation period and remain hidden due to the previous averaging formula for calculating the call drop rate.

Trai sources told FE that COAI urged the regulator earlier this month to delay the new norms for six months as the telcos would have to revise their contracts and work out maintenance practices. “It is unlikely that operators will get this long extension. The new calculation method will start from the October-December quarter and they have time to work out the details and practices” they added. COAI director-general Rajan S Mathews in a letter to Trai chairman RS Sharma said, “Keeping in mind the presence of a large number of factors, contributing to dropped call rates (DCRs), being beyond the control of TSPs, the revised Regulation has potential of rendering the entire industry non-compliant”. Referring to the Trai-industry session on QoS on August 28, Mathews said the industry had raised the concern that by shifting QoS measurements and its compliance, the regulator has made compliance requirement much more stringent than the existing requirement.

He explained that in cases where sites are impacted due to force majeure events such as natural calamities, disasters, temporary shutdown, jammers, among others, the outage period not only impacts the coverage areas, but also affects the performance of neighbouring cell sites. COAI urged Trai that the percentile for impacted cells and neighbouring cells be relaxed accordingly so as to ensure that parity in number of instances available in case of a cell which had been operational during the entire period.

“Various aspects of the network operations including the managed services agreement are intricately linked to the present measurement methodology. The TSPs will need to revise the contracts, change the existing maintenance practices and align the resources so as to meet the revised QoS norms which are more stringent,” Mathews urged Sharma. He further said, “We earnestly request to Authority to grant our members an additional time of two quarters for making the changes (development). Thus, Regulation be made effective from April 1, 2018 instead of October 1, 2017.”

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