April 1, 2016 2:04:21 am
Telecom firms on Thursday told the Supreme Court that they never exceeded the two per cent threshold limit set by the telecom regulator for call drops and that Trai is not empowerd to levy penalty on them through regulations.
Arguing before a bench of justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton F Nariman, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) added that only one telecom operator has been penalised so far for the call drops since 2009.
“Telecom service providers have never crossed the threshold limit of two per cent call drop and Trai cannot adopt a policy of zero tolerance of penalising for every call drop. The telecom regular cannot levy penalty through regulations,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for COAI, said.
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Several service providers were given show-cause notices for call drops but the explanations offered were accepted, said Sibal, adding Trai has the powers to ensure quality of service but it cannot impose penalty via regulations assuming that all fault for the call drops was of the telecom companies.
On the last date of hearing, the bench had asked Trai to examine whether the decision to impose penalty on telecom firms ought to be reviewed in wake of the regulator’s own technical papers on call drops, which were issued a month after the regulations were framed.
Trai’s technical paper had said that call drops in networks are not only due to the service providers and there could be several other reasons for it.
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