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India telcos face fines over poor quality service

Indian regulator unveils new rules which state telcos may be penalized up to US$18,322 for not meeting quality of service benchmarks or for providing incorrect information on performance parameter.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Indian mobile carriers will be fined for providing poor quality service and giving incorrect information on every performance parameter. If found guilty, they face fines of up to 1 million rupees (US$18,322).

According to a The Times of India report Saturday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued an amendment with provisions to impose financial penalties on mobile phone service providers which do not meet quality of service benchmarks.

The regulator measures the performance of India telcos based on more than 10 parameters. Under the new rule, service providers must pay a penalty of up to 1 million rupees for furnishing incorrect data measuring each parameter in the report submited to TRAI.

As for landline service providers, the regulator said these market players will be judged on the benchmarks for Customer Service Quality Parameters, and a rate of 50,000 rupees (US$916.09) per parameter breached will be levied.

In the case of bills issued by telecom operators, "not more than 0.1 percent of bills issued should be disputed over a billing cycle" of postpaid subscribers, TRAI noted. It also stated there should be no more than 1 complaint for every 1,000 customers regarding metering, charging, credit, and validity, and the billing dispute should be resolved within a month by the operators.

Similarly, there should not be more than 2 percent dropcalls in the network of mobile phone operators and in cases of bad service areas, there must no more than 3 percent of call drops in the network, the regulator said.

TRAI last week also made moves to curb spam SMSes from telemarketers, introducing new tariffs on delivery of over 100 text messages a day from a SIM card. 

India in July saw its first-ever decline in mobile subscriber number which dipped from 934.09 million to 913.49 million over the previous month. 




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