Indian telecom service providers have decided to ignore the Trai’s order to pay compensation for call drops to subscribers, and said that they will only pay the compensation till they are legally required to, the Economic Times reported.
The matter is currently sub-judice, and it will be taken up for hearing by the Delhi High Court on January 6, 2016. Last month, the High Court had directed the Trai not to take any coercive action against telcos in the matter until the next date of hearing. Trai however maintained that telcos need to abide by it, given that the court hasn’t stayed its order.
Trai had mandated that telecom companies from January 1 should compensate users at the rate of Re 1 per dropped call, with a ceiling of three dropped calls per day (or, Rs 3 per day). Both GSM and CDMA lobby bodies told the publication that Indian telcos will not provide any compensation till the court decides on the matter.
“The matter remains sub judice, so things stand as they are. We will only pay the compensation if the court directs us to,” Ashok Sud, secretary general of the Association of Unified Service Providers of India (AUSPI), was quoted as saying, while COAI backed AUSPI’s stand.
Indian telcos collectively opposed the Trai’s order on the grounds that it went beyond the regulator’s powers. They are of the view that the new rule has financial implications, and it can cost them nearly Rs 150 crore a day. Telcos also blamed the limited availability of spectrum and inability to erect new towers for call drops in the country. Further, they also claimed that subscribers may manipulate the system by deliberately disconnecting calls to draw benefits worth Rs 3 per day.