Updated at August 20, 2017:

Soon after TRAI introduced the amendment Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has responded saying network performance is beyond the telco’s control.

The quality of service provided by a network is beyond the absolute control of a network service provider. The quality of service available from a network is dependent on a number of extraneous factors which may not only be environmental,” said Rajan S Mathews, DG of COAI. “the factors include the number of users accessing the network at that time, the area covered by the BTS, whether the customer is indoors or outdoors, application being used by the customer, peak/off-peak time, the kind of device the customer is using, additional external interference as well as the quantum of spectrum available” he added.

Well, DG of COAI urges that the government seek a “collaborative approach with operators to allay their genuine concerns and work with the industry to help resolve these issues”.

Our original story from Sunday, August 20, 2017, follows:

Getting a better nab on the telecom operators, Indian telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced much stricter rules over call drops. According to the regulator, telcos who don’t meet the prescribed standard or norms on call drops could face a fine of at least Rs 5 lakh.

The regulator has actually revised its methodology for assessment of call drops. Earlier Drop Call Rate (DCR) averaging was being done every month over an entire service area of the telecom operator. But in this methodology, averaging of DCR mostly hides the poorly performing telecom cells or BTS units. While telecom operators seem to be meeting the benchmark, but subscribers were still complaining about the call drops or poor Quality of Service (QoS). In the highlight of this regulator has essentially redefined the entire framework for the assessment of the telecom network QoS.

So, what’s the new method? TRAI has made some major amendments to the QoS regulations. This includes a revised methodology for assessment of DCR which will now be based on percentile basis instead of the existing method of taking the average. The revised methodology will have measures for Spatial Distribution of DCR and Temporal Distribution of DCR. This essentially means regulator will now capture a cross sectional view of DCR. The Spatial measure of DCR will reflect area-to-area variations, whereas Temporal measure for DCR will reflect day-to-day variations in DCR observed in a network.

Telecom Operators could be fined INR 5 lakhs on Call Drops - TRAI

The new methodology will give a better insight into the network performance of a telecom operator. It will help the regulator to identify local areas where telecom cells have not performed well for many days and also to identify days on which many cells in the network have not performed well. Thus they can identify specific areas and specific days when telcos network performance was excellent, good or even poor. Also, DCR benchmark assessment will be done for all technologies like GSM, CDMA, WCDMA and LTE.

Finally, when a telecom operator fails to meet the DCR benchmark set by TRAI, they will be fined up to Rs 5 lakhs against one parameter. It depends upon the extent of deviation of performance from the benchmark. In the case of continued failure of meeting the benchmarks for two-quarters, telecom operators could be fined up to one and half time the amount. In case the telcos fail to meet the benchmark for more than two quarters they will be fined twice the amount.

TRAI’s new amendment to the Quality of Service regulation will come into effect from 1st October 2017. This means starting 1st October the regulator will start using the new methodology to track the call drops among Indian telcos.

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