Private cellular operators slam TRAI | india | Hindustan Times
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Private cellular operators slam TRAI

Private cellular operators slammed TRAI for shifting the blame on service providers for poor call quality, saying the regulator was only trying to cover up its own failures.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 18:03 IST

Private cellular operators on Tuesday slammed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for shifting the blame on service providers for poor call quality, saying the regulator was only trying to cover up its own failures.

"It is a matter of grave concern to us that having been unsuccessful in its attempts for timely augmentation of Points of Interconnection (PoIs), the TRAI is now seeking to shift the blame on cellular operators," TV Ramachandran, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a letter to TRAI.

The Authority is also aware that in a market where historically there has been a dominant player and virtually 90 per cent of the bottleneck facilities are with one player (BSNL), it is unrealistic to expect that the new entrants will be able to address this problem overnight through negotiations.

TRAI, on its part, has also been fully aware of these aspects relating to interconnection and that it has tried to address the same through its Reference Interconnection Order. However, all these efforts of the TRAI have been unsucessful due to one reason or another.

In such a situation "we would like to point out that under the Act, the authority (TRAI) is duty bound to protect the interests of service providers," Ramachandran said in a strongly worded letter in reply to TRAI's show cause notice to operators, experiencing high levels of congestion in their networks.

On the proposed action by TRAI against operators having congestion level of above 0.5 per cent in their networks, Ramachandran said: "Such selective actions by the Authority reflect an underlying recognition of the ground reality that in this era of rapid growth it is not possible for the industry to strictly meet the quality of service benchmarks fixed by TRAI."

The COAI also sought four weeks time instead of ten days as given by TRAI to reply to its show cause notices, saying the operators would carry out studies to find out reasons for such congestions in their network.

The association also asked TRAI that they should be given an opportunity to explain before the regulator takes any action or sends a show cause notice.