Telcos not meeting standards on call drop issue: TRAI

By: Gizbot Bureau

Amid growing concerns over the call drop issue, sectoral regulator TRAI has said that most of the telecom companies in Delhi and Mumbai are not meeting the prescribed standards. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) further said that only Bharti Airtel in Mumbai and Tata Teleservices in Delhi met the laid-down quality of service (QoS) benchmarks for call drop rate, which as per norms should be less than 2 per cent.

Telcos not meeting standards on call drop issue: TRAI

TRAI today released findings of the audit of quality of service being provided by telecom operators. The service quality audit was done by an agency through independent drive tests in the two cities in June and July. In Mumbai, Idea has a call drop rate of 5.56 per cent, Tata has 5.51 per cent, Vodafone has 4.83 per cent, Aircel has 3.19 per cent, Reliance has 2.29 per cent.

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Only Airtel meets the benchmark with a call drop rate of 0.97 per cent. The situation is not very different in Delhi with Reliance having a call drop rate of 17.29 per cent, Airtel 8.04 per cent, Aircel 5.18 per cent, Vodafone 4.28 per cent and Idea 2.84 per cent.

Tata is meeting the benchmark with call drop rate of 0.84 per cent. "The drive test results revealed that most of operators are not meeting the benchmarks of network related parameters. They failed to achieve the benchmarks due to high block call rate, high drop call rate, low call setup success rate and poor Rx quality," TRAI said.

Telcos not meeting standards on call drop issue: TRAI

However, TRAI said this result reflects only the network conditions on the route followed by the test vehicles and as determined during the day and time of the drive test. Doing some tough-talks on call drops, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had asked mobile operators to walk the extra mile to reinforce their systems as they have enough spectrum to provide services without interruption. The government has also asked TRAI to suggest a disincentive mechanism to tackle the problem.

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TRAI said it is evaluating the need for a consultation paper on 'Regulatory Framework on Call Drops', based on available information and facts. "Given the adverse impact of call drops on the consumers, the telecom service providers (TSPs) were advised to take initiatives and improve their performance, including exploring suitable compensation for call drops," TRAI said.

The regulator said operators have claimed that main reasons for frequent call drops include limited spectrum, delay in allocation of spectrum and changeover of frequencies. The telcos also said sealing of towers also contribute to call drops. During the last six months, around 801 sites in Mumbai and 523 sites in Delhi were shut-down. PTI

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