The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has served show-cause notices to some telecom operators over their inability to meet the new quality of service norms on call drops, reports ET. The carriers have been asked to respond by March 21 to present their side of arguments. The regulator will follow due process before imposing penalties, which can well increase in quantum if the same carriers continued to violate quality of service (QoS) norms in the same circles in January-March quarter, Trai Chairman RS Sharma told reporters on Tuesday.
The notice is based on the assessment of network performance of December quarter against new QoS norms that became effective on October 1, 2017. Under the new rules, telecom operators would face a maximum penalty of Rs 10 lakh per circle in a quarter.
Sharma said the show-cause notices have been issued to the concerned companies “for specific circles for not meeting revised quality of service criteria” as laid down by Trai recently.
The Trai chief, however, refused to divulge the names any operator or circle for which they have issued notices, saying he would not like to ‘name and shame’ the erring operators.
Following their response, Trai will decide to take the ‘action’ within a month against the errant telecom operators. “We will take a call depending what their explanation is. The response to showcase will be examined, and then we will decide. Our action will be within the framework of the new regulation,” he said.
The new QoS norms prescribe up to Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh penalty for the first violation. The failure to comply with same in successive quarters will lead to 1.5 times the penalty levied in the first quarter, and the same will be doubled if it continues in the third quarter. It is subject to a limit of Rs 10 lakh in the three-month period.
Also, the new rules measure call quality at a more granular level, at the tower level instead of telecom circle level. The new rules are aimed at decreasing the number of call drops being faced by consumers, which, according to the telecom ministry, has increased over the past several months.