'Telecom operators looting Rs 150 crore from State every month'
* Get Re 1 for each call drop from next year
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has come out with its regulations mandating telcos to monetarily compensate their subscribers for call drops. The new rule, which will come into force from January 1, 2016, provides that mobile users will get a compensation of Re 1 for every dropped call, for a maximum for three dropped calls in a day.
* WHAT is a call drop
A call drop means a voice call which after being successfully established, is interrupted before it is completed. It is a telephone call which, due to technical reasons, were cut off before the speaking parties had finished their conversatiol tone and before one of them had hung up.
* Reasons for call drops
If a company has too little of the better bands, the quality of voice service drops. It also drops if the number of customers rises. India has 961 million mobile phone subscribers, the most in the world after Chi. There are approximately 5,50,000 towers in India, and industry associations reckon another 1,00,000 are needed. The Department of Telecom blames the telecom operators; the operators point to the shortage of both spectrum and towers.
BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 24: Telecom operators are looting over Rs 150 crore from Assam every month through call drops, it was alleged today.
Till October this year, Airtel had 55 lakh customers in Assam, Aircel 47.84 lakh, Vodafone 33.61 lakh, Idea 9.96 lakh, Reliance 24.36 lakh and BSNL 12.48 lakh.
"All these companies loot Rs 154.97 crore every month through call drops," Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti publicity secretary Mukut Deka alleged.
The KMSS today staged a demonstration at the TERM Cell office here, demanding improvement of telecom service and compensation to subscribers for call drops. The activists shouted slogans against telecom operators during the two-hour long demonstration.
The KMSS pointed out to the SEBI directions and asked telecom companies to compensate customers for call drops.
The TERM Cell deputy director assured the agitating activists that he will facilitate a meeting with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) so that the issue can be discussed.
If the tariff plan is measured in seconds, the telecom company gains nothing on the call drops. But if it is measured in minutes, or if the plan contains features such as a certain number of free calls in every billing cycle, call drops hurt the consumer.
Telecom firms claim 95 per cent of tariff plans involve billing in seconds. Since call drops are the most common in high-congestion areas, interruptions tend to shorten the call and, to that extent, reduce the average revenue per user per minute.
Poor network and call drops have been bothering customers in Assam since the last few months.