Telecom operators may face a maximum penalty of Rs 10 lakh for call drops which will now be measured at mobile tower level instead of telecom circle, as per the new quality of service rules issued by regulator TRAI on Friday.
“We have proposed financial disincentive in the range of Rs 1-5 lakh. It is a graded penalty system depending on the performance of a network,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman RS Sharma told reporters in New Delhi.
TRAI secretary in-charge SK Gupta said if an operator fails to meet call drop benchmark in consecutive quarters, the penalty amount will be increased 1.5 times and in the third consecutive quarter it will doubled.
“However, there is cap of Rs 10 lakh on financial disincentive,” Gupta said.
Under the previous quality of service rules, penalty on call drop was Rs 1 lakh per violation and could go up to Rs 2 lakh in case of third subsequent violation.
The new rules will come into effect from October 1. Under the previous Quality of Service Rule, penalty on call drop was Rs 50,000 per violation. After the revision, the regulator has made measurement of call drop rate more granular from circle level to mobile towers in a circle.
“There have been some issues in measurement of call drop. Averages hide a lot of things. Under new rules, we are taking into account temporary issues that may be there in the network as well as geographical spread of the network,” Sharma said.
Under the revised rule, 90 per cent of base transceiver station or mobile site in a telecom circle 90 per cent of time should not fail to handle 98 per cent of the call, which means not more than 2 per cent calls handled by them should drop.