Trai recommends Rs 3,050-crore fine on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea

While a fine of Rs 50 crore each for 21 circles has been recommended for Bharti and Vodafone, for Idea the same is for 19 circles.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: October 22, 2016 9:16 am
trai, department of telecom, Reliance Jio, airtel, vodafone fine, penalty on vodafone airtel, tech news, techie, indian express Since Trai does not have powers to levy fines, it has recommended the Department of Telecommunications to levy the same in its capacity as the licensor since these companies have violated their licence conditions.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday recommended a fine of Rs 50 crore per circle against the top three incumbent operators — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — for denying sufficient points of interconnect to Reliance Jio Infocomm resulting in inconvenience to RJio’s consumers as a large number of call attempts resulted in failure. While a fine of Rs 50 crore each for 21 circles has been recommended for Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, for Idea the same is for 19 circles.

Since Trai does not have powers to levy fines, it has recommended the Department of Telecommunications to levy the same in its capacity as the licensor since these companies have violated their licence conditions. It has said that though the licensor has the powers to revoke the licences for defying directions, it has not suggested such a harsh measure as it would inconvenience a large number of consumers. The recommendation to levy fines comes after Trai had issued show-cause notices to the three operators towards end-September after finding high levels of congestion in their network leading to call failures made to and from the Jio network beyond the permissible limits.

Since September 30, Trai has been monitoring congestion levels on a daily basis and found that the situation has not improved.

The basic defence of the three companies was that there’s a 90-day period since the commercial launch of services for providing the demanded points of interconnect and that it was not fair for Trai to monitor the congestion level on a daily basis as it should be seen on a monthly basis.

However, Trai has rejected their defence, stating that the operators were trying to stifle competition and arguing that if on a daily basis there’s congestion, how can it be different during a month.

Trai chairman RS Sharma had earlier said that based on the data that the regulator had asked from all the operators between September 15 and 19, it found that the congestion level was as high as 96 per cent in some of the circles against the permissible limit of 0.5 per cent.

The Quality of Service norms prescribe that congestion level should not exceed 0.5 per cent, which means that out
of 1,000 calls not more than 5 should fail. However, in the present case almost 960 calls are failing, he had said. Congestion level is different from call drop. In the former, a call does not get connected whereas in the latter a call drops after it is connected. For call drops, the failure should not be more than 2 per cent.

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First Published on: October 22, 2016 2:05 am
  1. J
    Jawhar
    Oct 22, 2016 at 4:56 am
    Employees in TRAI get two ries a month - one from Reliance, and another from government. But TRAI works as a fully owned subsidiary of Reliance. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;In gross violation TRAI allowed RIM - reliance india mobile to offer mobile service across the country WITHOUT ANY LICENCE.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Modi government should look at how TRAI functions
    Reply
    1. K
      Karen
      Oct 22, 2016 at 8:26 am
      The people should come first be it any network, using such backhanded tactics to stifle compeion and in turn hurt consumers with poor service qualities. Vodafone should literally be banned because of their call drop rate is 64% and their refusal to release POI shows they do not care for the customers at all.
      Reply
      1. P
        Praveen Kumar
        Oct 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm
        Nice recommendation provided by TRAI but it should also scold Jio for their degrading quality of internet service.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Initially in my area the speed was 20mbps downloading and 5mbps to 10mbps uploading. But now it get reduced to 150 kbps downloading and 10 to 15 kbps uploading. Also some times speed get reduced below 2g speed and I face websites browsing issues. This is happening from last 15 days and continue dropping down day by day.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;If someone have authority to solve this issue then try to do your best.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I do not need 20mbps speed but at least it should be 2 to 3 mbps.
        Reply
        1. R
          Rashmi Kulkarni
          Oct 22, 2016 at 7:29 am
          Now Finally someone picked up the call drop issue hope this will solve all the problems aound it.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;It gets very frustrating when you try to call someone and the call dosent connect. The next issue after this which should be solved should be net speeds.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Since Jio is come in we have seen a lot of changes in the telecom sector which in future will act as a big boost to the countries economy
          Reply
          1. R
            Rohan
            Oct 22, 2016 at 7:43 am
            Calls didnt connect and calls which connected started dropping .lt;br/gt;Paying only for data and not for calls the agenda will be completed once this issue is solvedlt;br/gt;Lets hope after this the call start connecting.
            Reply
            1. N
              NH
              Oct 22, 2016 at 6:07 am
              Much needed move. Vodafone and Airtel are taking advantage of their monopoly for too long. lt;br/gt; Now they dont want Jio to enter (as it will affect their profits). So much that they are purposely blocking Jio calls (Vodafone in particular). Fine them even more heavily if required. lt;br/gt;Why are they afraid of compeion ?
              Reply
              1. S
                sonu
                Oct 22, 2016 at 8:10 am
                phle apna ghar sambhal le jawhar bewkoof. Airtel vodafone walo ka pile jakr
                Reply
                1. V
                  Varun
                  Oct 22, 2016 at 7:45 am
                  Ye toh hona hi ta aur kitne der tak ruka kar rak sakte te.lt;br/gt;Ab jelo isko
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vinita
                    Oct 22, 2016 at 7:46 am
                    This is called pure Karma
                    Reply
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