Trai accuses cellcos of cartel behavior over call drops

telecomasia.net

Indian regulator Trai has come out swinging in the legal battle over the decision to require operators to compensate their users for call drops, accusing telecom operators of behaving like a cartel.

In legal arguments opposing a group of operators' request to overturn a court ruling upholding the penalties, Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi also accused the operators of profiting from call drops, the Economic Times reported

A group of operators have petitioned India's Supreme Court to challenge a previous Delhi High Court ruling into the matter. This verdict upheld the regulator's demand that operators compensate users 1 rupee ($0.015) per call drop experienced. Rohatgi is representing Trai.

The operators have argued that call drops are often outside of their control, and that having to pay compensation will have a significant detrimental financial impact. They have also denied profiting from call drops.

But in his arguments, Rohatgi said operators were only investing 5% of their revenue in infrastructure and are only interested in signing up more customers without investing to fix call drops.

Rohatgi claimed that 64% of call drops are attributable to telecom companies and only 36% to user-related issues including low battery.

Indian operators have also pointed to spectrum scarcity in a crowded market as a factor behind the call drops. But Rohatgi rejected this argument and claimed that the issue instead relates to inefficient spectrum optimization.

Operators have also faced difficulties setting up towers due to a range of issues including fears over radiation. But Rohatgi argued that Indians are exposed to greater radiation level than citizens in other countries and that difficulty setting up towers cannot be used as an excuse for call drops.

About the author

Commentary

5G and data center-friendly network architectures

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Rémy Pascal / Analysys Mason

The launch of 5G by South Korean operators serves as a first benchmark for other operators around the world