Even though Supreme Court has decided not to penalise TRAI for call drops, the telecom regulator said on Wednesday that it won’t ‘shy away’ from protecting its consumers.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R S Sharma said ‘test drives’ have been conducted in 11-12 cities to analyse the menace of call drops and the results are being processed before being made public.
Amid public outcry over frequent call drops on various mobile networks, TRAI had put in place new regulations penalising telecom operators. However, these regulations were set aside by the Supreme Court earlier this month.
Asked about the next course of action by TRAI, Sharma said, “We are discussing the issue internally at TRAI and we will come out with an appropriate step at an appropriate time.”
“Among various liabilities that TRAI has, consumer protection is also one of them, and we cannot shy away from our duty,” he added.
The TRAI regulation had mandated mobile providers to compensate consumers Rs 1 for every dropped call subject to a maximum of Rs 3 a day. Scrapping this rule, the Supreme Court said on May 11 that the regulation was “arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent”.
TRAI has also been frequently conducting random test drives to check status of network which most telecom operators failed to clear. The companies, however, have contested the findings of the regulator.
As per TRAI benchmark, not more than 2% calls on a telecom operator’s network should get automatically disconnected.
On test drives, Sharma said, “We have recently tested in 11-12 cities. We are processing their results. We will publish them very soon.”
The previous drive tests were conducted by the regulator during December-January this fiscal in seven cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Bhubaneswar and Indore.
Most of the telecom operators, including state-run MTNL, failed in the random drive tests.