Thursday, April 21, 2016

TRAI: Telcos running cartel, must compensate subscribers for call drops

Acusing telecom companies of running a cartel with scant care for customers facing the problem of call drops, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the firms were not upgrading infrastructure to ensure disruption-free calling and justified its decision to impose penalty.
Appearing for Trai before a bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R F Nariman, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said around 800 crore outgoing calls drop in a year, most of them because of the fault of telecom service providers which generated a revenue of about 1.4 lakh crore in 2014-15.

"Here we have a cartel of 4-5 big companies and they force consumers to sign on documents at the time of getting connection, which say that the operator would not be responsible for call drops. How would a poor consumer know what is there in the documents," the AG said.
He said the telcos were pocketing all the profits and not investing money on improving infrastructure which was virtually crumbling because of the ever increasing number of subscribers.

"The firms earned revenue of 249 crore per day from voice calls but investment in infrastructure has not kept pace with the increased subscriber base which at present is 1016 million. It is not my obligation to provide infrastructure.

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