A bench of Chief Justices G. Rohini and Jayant Nath of the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) seeking response about the issue of cellular operators being required to compensate for dropped calls.
TRAI previously enacted a tariff order making it mandatory for cellular operators to compensate their subscribers for call drops starting January 1, 2016.
The high court issued the order in response to a plea moved by cellular operators, who claim this order as “mutually contradictory and destructive.”
On October 16, TRAI ruled that cellular operators will have to compensate their subscribers Rs. 1 per call drop they experience on their network, with an imposed maximum of Rs. 3 per day.
TRAI has announced that they will continue carrying out drive tests in cities like Mumbai and Delhi near the end of the month to determine progress in fixing what they believe to be a severe call drop problem.
All of this comes in response to a drive test performed by TRAI in June and July, in which they found the network quality to be below par with call drops being a notable problem. More tests in September showed not much progress. These tests were conducted in the metros as well as Surat, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, and Ahmedabad.
The bench said, “Since it has to be implemented from January 1, 2016, we will hear the government and pass the order,” and they listed the matter for December 22.
The cellular operators are of course seeking to defeat this tariff, which would cost them money if subscribers are experiencing call drops on their networks.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Association of United Service Providers in India (AUSPI) are the ones petitioning the high court, asking for a stay on TRAI’s new policy.