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TRAI may grant telcos flexibility on service quality regulations

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In Short:

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is considering relaxing some parameters in the proposed quality of service (QoS) rules for telecom operators. Operators have raised concerns about meeting the strict benchmarks for call drops and coverage. Trai is expected to address these concerns before issuing the final rules. The industry has cited technical challenges and suggested a light-touch regulatory framework for QoS analysis. Telcos also oppose sharing data monthly instead of quarterly.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to Relax Parameters in Proposed Quality of Service Rules

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is considering relaxing some of the parameters in the proposed quality of service (QoS) rules, which have been deemed too stringent by the industry. The regulator emphasizes the need for telecom operators to enhance service quality, particularly after recent tariff hikes.

Industry Feedback

During the consultation process, telcos provided their feedback on the draft regulations. A senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, mentioned that the final rules are anticipated to address the concerns raised by the telcos. The regulator is expected to release the final rules within a month, taking industry feedback into account.

In August last year, Trai introduced strict performance benchmarks for service providers to reduce call drops and set separate criteria for 5G services to enhance consumer experience. The proposed regulations included additional parameters for reporting and demanded data at a more detailed level on a monthly basis. The guidelines for call drops, coverage, network downtime, and broadband latency were also made more stringent.

Challenges Faced by Telcos

Telcos have cited technical challenges in providing the extensive amount of data required under the proposed regulations. They have expressed their preference for maintaining the existing QoS regulations and have raised these concerns during discussions with Trai.

The industry emphasized in a recent meeting that the Dropped Call Rate (DCR) parameter should be technology agnostic to avoid perpetual non-compliance for telcos. They recommended analyzing QoS based on third-party apps data rather than a complete overhaul of the regulations.

Proposed Revisions

Trai has proposed technology-specific reporting for call drops and revised benchmarks for network downtime at a cell level for a more detailed view of network availability. However, telcos have opposed sharing data monthly, citing difficulties in coordination and aggregation due to multiple service areas.

Overall, Trai aims to strike a balance between regulatory requirements and the operational challenges faced by telcos to ensure an improved quality of service for consumers.

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