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Tightening regulations, telecom regulator Trai on Thursday raised the penalty on telecom operators to up to Rs 2 lakh for poor mobile service quality, including call drops.
The penalty amount would be as high as Rs 2 lakh if the operators are unable to meet the benchmark set for the quality of service in two or more subsequent quarters, the Telecom
Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.
The penalty will kick-in if call drops in a quarter average more than 2 per cent of the total traffic in a telecom circle.
"The proportion (incidents) of non-compliance in case of customer related parameters are more than that of network related parameters. Hence the Authority has decided to impose
identical structure of financial disincentive in both cases," Trai said in a statement.
As per the rules, call drop, availability of mobile towers, time taken for a call to connect, network congestion, voice quality and network related issues feature in the Trai's service quality parameters.
Consumer-related issues include complaint redressal, refund of wrongly charged money, access to call centre etc.
As per existing norms, there is a penalty provision of up to Rs 50,000 for the first violation and Rs 1 lakh for subsequent failures in case of network related quality parameters. However, with regard to consumer-related issues the penalty was capped at Rs 50,000 for each violation.
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Now for the first time violation of service quality benchmark, the fine has been increased to Rs 1 lakh.
If telecom operators fail to meet the benchmark on the same parameter further, a penalty of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for the second violation and Rs 2 lakh thereafter.
"The Authority feels that these measures will act as a sufficient deterrent against prolonged non-compliance and will further improve the quality of service in a time-bound manner," the regulator said.
Trai has found no significant improvement in the call drop issue in Mumbai and Delhi as operators are lagging on various fronts in meeting the standards
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