TRAI blames lack of investment in infrastructure for call drops

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday held the lack of investment by mobile service providers in the network infrastructure, including mobile towers, responsible for the problem of call drops. It said the investment had not kept pace with the increase in usage and the number of subscribers.

In an affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court in response to a writ petition challenging a new rule imposing a fine for each call drop on mobile operators, TRAI said the investment made in the infrastructure, other than radio spectrum, in wireless access service segment had risen by only 4.6 per cent from Rs.2,02,399 crore in 2012-13 to Rs.2,11,691 crore in 2013-14.

The writ petition was moved by the Cellular Operators Association of India, the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and 21 telecom operators.

TRAI’s October 16, 2015, rule mandates mobile service operators to pay consumers Re.1 per call drop, subject to a cap of Rs.3 a day.

The affidavit said the surge in data consumption had led to an increase in the share of data revenue in the overall subscriber revenue of the telecom service providers. “However, they cannot be permitted to ignore the quality of service of voice calls, which continues to be the primary service for the telecom consumers,” it affirmed.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath deferred the hearing in the case till Thursday to enable the petitioners to file a rejoinder to TRAI’s affidavit. The Union government’s counsel said the respondents should be given a copy of the rejoinder.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 9:58:41 AM |

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