TRAI had directed the telecom operators to ensure a minimum 512 kbps download speed at all times but Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Sistema Shyam Teleservices have objected. The reason is that once a customer have exhausted the data limit, the service providers should be allowed to provide 64 kbps.
Telecom operators paid a total penalty of around Rs 6 crore during July 2014-June 2015 to Trai pertaining to violation of service quality norms. Out of this, mobile services providers paid Rs 3.48 crores, fixed line service providers Rs 44.5 lakh while broadband service provider paid Rs 21.75 lakh. Show-cause notices issued on metering and billing matters further fetched Rs 1,18,841.
TRAI has extended the deadline for receiving comments on its differential pricing for data services, by a week. The earlier deadline was December 30th. TRAI has received 16.5 lakh comments. It received 8 lakh comments through Free Basics and zero rating platforms and about 3,000 individual messages.
The news comes at a time when telcos are struggling to fix the call drop issue in the country wherein the TRAI had ordered telcos to pay 1 rupee per call drop—which could cost telcos at least $8billion. A special committee formed in Nov by DeitY approved the testing.
Telcos asked TRAI to withdraw compensation of users for call drops, saying that the ruling could hurt 3-5% of the industry’s $36 billion annual revenue, forcing carriers to raise tariffs. A letter supported by industry associations with players like Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance was submitted to TRAI recently.