Indian operators challenge Trai order on call drops

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Indian telecom service providers have taken the legal route to challenge the Trai's order mandating them to compensate subscribers for calls dropped starting January 1, 2016. Auspi and the COAI, the telecom industry associations, argued that Trai doesn't hold the power to order telcos to pay any compensation, according to media reports. These bodies also blamed closing or unavailability of cell sites as one of the chief reasons for call drops.

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The telcos said that the regulations to penalise them already exists for quality of services and network coverage. They said that the the regulations already provide for monetary consequences in the event such benchmarks are not met.

"They provide, among other things, for a call drop parameter of 2% and prescribe financial disincentives for failing to meet the benchmark," Indian telcos said in a statement.

The brokerage firm UBS Securities in November predicted that telcos would take the legal route and challenge the Trai order. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in October said that the Indian telcos will have to compensate consumers Re 1 for every call drop that occurs due to fault in their network, which is limited to a maximum of Rs 3 a day per consumer. The telecom department also endorsed the regulator's view.

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