Call drop compensation to mobile subscribers will not cost operators more than Rs. 200 crore per quarter, says the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). This is less than one percent of the total revenue generated by the operators. This decision comes after the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) had written to TRAI saying that the compensation policy would force them to increase tariff rates in order to recover costs.
TRAI stated, “Based on data of the telecom service providers (TSPs), the authority had conducted a detailed analysis of the call data and call drops data.... However, as per the regulation, there is a ceiling on relief of Rs. 3 per subscriber a day, thus, the likely financial implications would be even less than Rs 200 crore per quarter.” It also said, “It is technically possible for the TSPs to implement the regulation, and sufficient time has been given to them to make suitable provisions regarding the same.”
COAI and AUSPI had said that the annual compensation due to dropped calls might range from Rs. 10,000 crore to Rs. 54,000 crore. The letter also said that the compensation policy may also increase disputes, consumer mistrust and costs. It added that the policy would result in a sharp increase in call drops as countless customers will cause the calls to drop in order to to get the Rs. 3 compensation. However, TRAI said that the reports are exaggerated, and the compensation of Rs. 54,000 crore a year is based on the assumption that 50 per cent of consumers would manipulate and misuse regulation in order to get Rs. 3 everyday.
In October, TRAI had asked telecommunication companies to pay its subscribers Re. 1 for every call dropped up to a maximum of three dropped calls a day, starting from 2016. Prepaid customers will have to be intimated through SMS, or an unstructured supplementary data within four hours of a call drop and mention the amount credited. For postpaid customers, details of the credit should be provided in the next bill. Earlier this month, Union Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, ruled out the possibility of rolling back the call drop compensation policy.
Source: Business Standard
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