Wednesday 29 August 2012

Telcos delivering poor service may now be fined

Since quite sometime now, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been frequenting headlines over its steps to improve the state of affairs in the telecom sector – one of the nation's brightest sectors. In one such move, companies failing to meet the quality of service standards set for mobile and wired telephones would be penalised as per a new amendment, reports Times of India. As per reports, TRAI will put into effect "financial disincentives" of Rs.50,000 per parameter for not adhering to the quality norms. Consecutive defaulters will see the disincentives go up to a lakh. Clearly, the move would mean that India's expansive mobile user base would experience less frequent instances of call drops.

Elaborating further, the report explains that suppose if an operator does not reduce the rate of call drops on its network to less than 2 percent within three months of the amendment coming to effect, then the operator will be liable for a fine to the tune of Rs.50,000. It will go up to a lakh, if the operator does not limit the call drop rates in the quarters that follow. TRAI is now awaiting comments on the same from the industry.

In a recent official statement, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) confirmed that it has put into effect an amendment to the existing Standards of Quality of Service of Basic Telephone Service (wireline) and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service Regulations, 2009 dated 20th March, 2009, and have issued Standards of Quality of Service of Basic Telephone Service (wireline) and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (Amended) Regulations, 2012 Act. The amendment to the 2009 act puts into perspective network related issues pertaining to the quality of 3G voice calls in the country at the moment. Simply put, the amended act makes provisions for a better 3G voice calls scenario by improving the quality of the network, in line with the standards recommended in the Act.

Only recently, there were reports about The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India planning to approach the Commerce and Industry Ministry on the issue of banning the import of phones with fake IMEI numbers. Off late, instances of IMEI cloning have been on the rise. Although cloning of IMEI numbers is not commonplace yet in the case of CDMA handsets, instances of cloning in the case of GSM handsets are aplenty. Mobile handsets with cloned IMEI numbers cannot be tracked, making them a deterrent to national security.

We reported about TRAI's attempts at helping customers keep unwanted calls and SMSes at bay being successful, with a whopping 161.66 million customers registering their preferences on National Customer Preference Register (NCPR). In yet another instance, TRAI managed to implement the 'per second billing' criteria, wherein it asked mobile service providers to provide ‘per second billing’ option to customers.

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