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Call drops: TRAI to probe tariff plans, issue draft paper

New Delhi: The telecom regulator is examining whether mobile operators are minting money by inducing the phone calls to drop midway. It also plans to launch a consultation paper to devise a mechanism to address
call drops trai to probe tariff plans issue draft...
PTI 24 Aug 2015, 7:26:53 AM IST

New Delhi: The telecom regulator is examining whether mobile operators are minting money by inducing the phone calls to drop midway. It also plans to launch a consultation paper to devise a mechanism to address the problem.

"We are coming out with a consultation paper on call drops. We will consult all stakeholders on the various facets of call drops," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma said.

"We have called for the information from companies," he said on whether there are any tariff plans where call drops incentivise or benefit operators.

This follows a direction from the Department of Telecommunications, asking TRAI to suggest a disincentive mechanism for call drops and examine tariff plans of operators.

Telcos have blamed the lack of mobile towers and spectrum for call drops.

Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel, recently said about 95% of companies' tariff plans are second-based, and operators don't earn anything if a call gets dropped.

However, telecom secretary Rakesh Garg has said there are plans where users get some free minutes and the billing is minute-based, which need to be examined.

The government said operators cannot escape the responsibility of meeting standards as it is their basic service obligation.

Garg said if expenditure on spectrum is set aside, operators have invested only about 13% of their revenue in infrastructure.

A recent TRAI report found that most of operators in Delhi and Mumbai were not meeting the prescribed standards regarding call drops.

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