Trai starts rehaul of quality norms for mobile services
Tightening the noose around mobile operators over call drops, telecom regulator Trai today proposed stricter quality norms for local areas and imposing financial disincentives for poor services.
At present, the quality norms are at service area level (averaging the performance of the entire service area as a whole) but Trai feels such a calculation may give a "different picture" about the quality of customer experience.
"There could be many areas or localities within the service area where the Quality of service (QoS) could be poor," Trai said in its latest consultation paper.
"One of the options for ensuring QoS could be through increased investments for infrastructure development by redefining the parameters and benchmarks and measurement methodology to ensure that averaging over the entire service area does not affect the quality of experience of the consumer," it said.
Trai is also debating tightening of the financial disincentives, providing for more stringent penal provisions for very poor performance and continuous non-performance (along with incentives for improvement).
"...No consideration is given on the extent of how bad is the performance... One option towards streamlining the Quality of Service parameters will be to explore the possibility of a scheme of graded financial disincentive so that in the case of very poor performance the financial disincentive could be very stringent," Trai said.
The issue of mobile call drops and poor quality of services has irked consumers across the country.
Earlier this year, however, the regulator's attempt to make it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drops came a cropper when the Supreme Court struck down the Trai regulation terming it "arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent".
Trai has also sought opinion on whether calculation of customer satisfaction index will help in QoE of the consumer, and the calculation methodology for such indexes.
The paper also seeks public view on the manner in which the benchmark for quality parameters should be revised, and whether the same should be licensed service area wise or district wise or BTS-wise or a combination.