Trai snubs telcos on call drops, to conduct more tests

Telecom regulator Trai on Tuesday refused to play ball with objections raised by mobile operators over the rising incidences of call drops, and said it will carry out more checks around April across a number of cities.
RS Sharma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, said that the regulator carries out the road tests in a transparent manner as he struck down the objection of telecom companies to its recent assessment that showed that network quality and call drops were yet to be get better.
“My sense is whatever test drive we have done, it has been done very objectively and in a transparent manner. If there are any more suggestions for transparency, we are certainly ready to look at them,” Sharma said.
Trai recently released findings on the call drop tests carried out across seven cities in December and January. Most operators failed the tests, which were conducted to check quality of the network and services.
The results were questioned by telecom operators like Airtel, Idea and Vodafone and their lobby groupings who asked Trai not to publish the same. The operators claimed that there is a huge variation between Trai’s findings and their own assessment.
Sharma did not agree. “Since last time (when tests were conducted), telecom companies starting raising objections that you don’t consult us as to which road you are using. This time when we did the test, we took their suggestions into account. I really don’t have an answer to what operators are contesting. This is not a good way.”
As per the latest test report released by Trai, none of the telecom operators showed an improvement in call drops in Mumbai, Pune and Bhubaneswar. The regulator had conducted drive tests in December and January on select routes of seven cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Bhubaneswar and Indore.
“… it will be done again, sometime in April. Last time, we covered seven cities. This time we will cover those seven and if required, we will extend it to more cities,” Sharma said.

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