Nine Indian telcos have been fined 5 million rupees (US$80,900) in total for failing to meet quality of service (QoS) benchmarks in the second quarter ended June.
The hardest hit was state-run telco BSNL, which was slapped with a fine of 1.45 million rupees for failing to meet 13 QoS parameters, official sources told IANS. The other telcos fined were Aircel, Reliance Communications, Idea, Vodafone, Uninor, Vodafone, and MTS.
Last November, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) unveiled tighter rules to allow it more powers to penalize telcos more for not meeting quality of service benchmarks or for providing incorrect information on performance parameters.
The regulator measures the performance of India telcos based on more than 10 parameters. Under the new rule, service providers face a penalty of up to 1 million rupees for furnishing incorrect data measuring each parameter in the report submited to TRAI.
Standards include not have more than 0.1 percent of bills issued be disputed by postpaid subscribers. There should also 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.
Additionally 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.
Last month, a hotline was unveiled for consumers to file complaints against their telcos.