Indian court upholds call drop compensation order

An Indian court has upheld an order from regulator Trai to require operators to compensate subscribers over dropped calls, but India's telecom industry is likely to appeal the verdict.

The Delhi High Court has dismissed petitions from Indian GSM industry group COAI and separate submissions from 21 operators seeking to have the regulation overturned, LiveMint reported.

Operators including India's largest cellcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had objected to the order on the grounds that the circumstances behind call drops were often outside of the operator's control and difficult to impossible to address.

Because the court had not stayed the notification during the hearings, regulator Trai will be entitled to implement its decision retroactively from the beginning of 2016. Trai had agreed not to take any action to enforce the order until after the hearing.

COAI's director general Rajan Mathews expressed disappointment with the court's decision and indicated that the industry body is likely to file for an appeal.

But he noted that operators will have to start compensating customers for call drops immediately.

Under the new notification, operators will have to credit users 1 rupee ($0.015) per call drop experienced, up to a maximum of 3 rupees per day.

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