Crackdown on call drops: Trai directs telcos to submit service quality reports for each State, UT
Taking a serious note of call drops related complaints and service quality issues, regulator Trai on Friday directed telecom service providers to submit service quality reports for each State and Union Territory.
Now, telecom companies will have to report more granular data that will help identify patchy networks and problem areas upfront. In another move that would cheer telecom consumers, the regulator has released draft regulation on review of ‘The Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) Regulations, 2023’ and draft guidelines. In a statement, Trai said that accuracy of metering and billing of telecom services has been a prime focus of the regulator to protect the interest of consumers.
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Meanwhile, it has also issued “directions to all telecom service providers to submit Quality of Service (QoS) reports for each State and Union Territory(UT)”. Last week, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) held a review meeting on call drops with telcos where it made it clear that players will have to report call drop and outage data at state level too. Trai had also instructed companies to take immediate steps to “demonstrate visible improvement” in quality of service and connectivity experience for consumers across the country.
In the last meeting, the regulator informed that more stringent service benchmarks are on the anvil when it comes to calling quality parameters, and that a consultation process will be initiated by Trai in the coming months. On Friday, Trai said submission of State and Union Territory wise report for QoS parameters is essential for optimum analysis of service quality being provided by telcos. They will be required to submit the data on a quarterly basis starting from 2023 March quarter. This will also help respective State/UT Governments in facilitating service providers in improving QoS in the State /UT as and when required, it said.
“LSA (Licenced Service Area) wise data, as currently being submitted through various Performance Monitoring Reports, shall continue to be submitted as per schedule defined in the Regulation,” it added. This means that the data reported from here on will be more granular and detailed (for 29 states plus UTs) as against the current practice of data reported at the level of Licensed Service Areas (22 LSAs in all) and averaged on a quarterly basis. Trai believes that state-level reporting will ensure that the problem areas and patchy networks in certain states, especially north-east, can be clearly identified, and corrective action can be taken by players.
At present, local problem areas don’t show up as clearly on the radar, as the reporting structure for data is based on LSAs (a larger reporting area in some cases), that too averaged out. While such detailed reporting (at state level) will start immediately, making it part of QoS norms, and imposing financial disincentives will take some time, Trai Chairman P D Vaghela said last week. In fact, earlier this week, mobile operators’ body COAI said that reporting call drop data state-wise entails several administrative and execution “difficulties” on ground, and that reporting should continue at LSA level.