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TRAI regulation on call drops implementable; has been issued after detailed analysis: Ram Sewak Sharma

"The Authority is strongly of the view that the entire mechanism for compensation for call drop to consumers is implementable."

, ET Now|
Last Updated: Oct 16, 2015, 01.23 PM IST
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"The Authority is strongly of the view that the entire mechanism for compensation for call drop to consumers is implementable."
"The Authority is strongly of the view that the entire mechanism for compensation for call drop to consumers is implementable."
Telecom regulator TRAI today came out with its one-of-its-kind regulation asking telecom companies to compensate consumers for call drop. In his first interview after the regulation TRAI Chairman Ram Sewak Sharma tells ET Now's Gaurie Dwivedi that consumers cannot be given poor service quality. Given below are the edited excepts...

Q. How confident are you that the regulation that TRAI has come out with will be implemented by industry?

A. TRAI has been studying the call drop issue for over two and a half months. The regulation released today is after detailed analysis of the issue of implementation. The Authority is strongly of the view that the entire mechanism for compensation for call drop to consumers is implementable. After all, the regulation is only for call drops that are initiated by the system; the system will keep track of the call drop. I see no reason why the regulation cannot be implemented by industry. The regulation will come into effect from 1st January 2016.



Q. Do you think the regulation could lead to more litigation in the sector? Consumers may feel they haven't got their 3 calls refunded and telcos may feel they are not obligated to follow this?

A. It is a question that if you have contracted to give a service, it is expected that you will give the service in full. If there is a deficiency in service, which is what call drop is, there has to be a way to compensate consumers. This regulation is one of the methods.

Q. What do you think could be the monetary impact of this regulation on the industry?

A. Issue is not about monetary impact; to ensure fairness the Authority has also put in a place of a cap of 3 calls. The primary issue is that of service quality. If telcos have promised a certain quality of service to consumers; they should deliver the same. Poor service quality cannot be justified.

Q. There is no precedence of a move like this in any other telecom market; do you think maybe we are going overboard on compensation and forgetting to resolve other issues?

A. Every telecom market in the world is different; comparisons are undesirable. Also, service quality parameters in all markets are different. The question to ask is this: if there is a call drop do consumers deserve to be compensated. We received views of all stakeholders- industry, consumer groups and Authority has taken a considered view after getting all responses.

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