With the issue over call drops refusing to die down, Telecom Secretary JS Deepak has called a meeting of CEOs of mobile service providers to discuss that and much more.
"The telecom secretary has called a meeting of CEOs of telecom companies on June 10 to discuss issues in the sector and call drops," a source told PTI.
In the latest test-drive conducted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in Delhi, the state-owned telecom operator MTNL failed on all network-based quality of service parameters.
"Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Aircel and Idea need to further improve the call drop rate performance. The CDMA operators and MTNL need to improve across all parameters in order to offer acceptable levels of service," TRAI said in the report.
According to the report for Delhi, Aircel and Vodafone have been using radio-link technology (RLT) beyond the levels their peers follow. RLT is one of the parameters which decides for how long the call should be sustained if the signal quality drops below a certain threshold. As per an official source, some telecom operators are using it for masking call drops, resulting in higher bills for subscribers.
The TRAI has sought more powers to penalise mobile operators as most of them have failed to meet the quality benchmark in this regard.
The Supreme Court recently quashed a rule that mandated telecom operators to compensate consumers Re 1 for each call drop with the upper limit at Rs 3 per day.
Currently, disputes between consumers and telecom operators are not taken up by consumer courts as a Supreme Court judgement of 2009 had barred seeking any such relief under the Consumer Protection Act, saying a special remedy is provided under the Indian Telegraph Act.
The National Telecom Policy 2012 envisages to undertake legislative measures to bring disputes between telecom consumers and service providers within the jurisdiction of consumer forums established under the Consumer Protection Act.
However, it is yet to be executed by the government. Telecom industry body COAI has questioned regulator Trai's call-drop test results as operators say the issue is limited to the areas where they face problems in installing towers.
-With PTI inputs