Call Drops: Telcos May Soon Have to Give Free Minutes

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NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecom (DoT) has written to sector regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to suggest a disincentive mechanism to tackle the issue of frequent call drops. 

“We have asked Trai to analyze the issue and suggest what kind of in-built disincentive mechanism could be used for call drops,” telecom secretary Rakesh Garg has said. 

Explaining the issue and its possible framework, Garg said it could be in the form of giving free minutes to customers in lieu of call drops. Last week, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad suggested that private operators should minimize call drops and DoT is working on a disincentive architecture on the matter.

The secretary said telecom players need to follow the service quality benchmark set by Trai and should be ready to face penalty in case they do not comply with the directions. 

DoT, in a meeting with telecom operators last month, had asked the latter to step up. 

Mobile phone users have been complaining about frequent call drops, but the players apparently have not heeded their demand. 

The operators, on their part, put the blame on “scarcity of spectrum” and hurdles in installing mobile towers in residential areas because of “radiation issues.” 

Prasad, on several occasions earlier, had said shortage of spectrum is no excuse for call drops.

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