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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Telcos unite against Trai’s stricter quality norm proposals

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In Short:

Telecom operators in India, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, are against stricter regulations proposed by the sector regulator to improve service quality. Consumer groups support the regulations, urging accountability. The regulators are seeking feedback until April 22, proposing monthly reporting of quality data, stricter benchmarks, and penalties for telcos. Telcos argue that the regulations will not improve quality and demand a five-year transition period.

Telecom Operators Unite Against Stricter Quality of Service Regulations

Telecom giants Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea have come together to oppose the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) proposal for more stringent provisions to enhance the quality of services in the sector.

Consumer Advocacy Groups Support Trai’s Proposal

While consumer advocacy groups have backed Trai’s move to hold telcos accountable for service quality, the telecom operators and associations have raised objections to the draft regulations.

The regulator has set a deadline for stakeholders to submit additional comments by April 22.

Draft Regulations and Telcos’ Concerns

The draft regulations aim to update the current Quality of Service (QoS) norms, which were established during the 2G era, to align with the advancements in technology, such as the rollout of 4G and the upcoming 5G deployments.

Some of the recommendations in the draft regulations include monthly reporting of QoS data, stricter benchmarks for services, and imposing financial penalties for wireline, wireless, and broadband services.

Telecom companies have expressed reservations about the monthly reporting of QoS data and the proposed penalties, citing concerns about the practicality and effectiveness of the measures.

Industry Concerns and Proposals

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) representing Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, raised questions about the consultation process and urged for a thorough examination of various factors influencing service quality.

Jio emphasized the need for a five-year transition period if the regulations are implemented and stressed the importance of allowing the industry time to adapt and improve service quality gradually.

Proposed Revisions and Technical Enhancements

Trai’s proposal includes revising the network downtime benchmark, deploying AI and machine learning for QoS improvements, and setting new latency benchmarks for broadband services to ensure better customer experience.

Although telcos expressed concerns about the impact on their investments and operational challenges, consumer advocacy groups highlighted the necessity of updating regulations to reflect the current technological landscape.

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