The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cell operators blast regulator

New Delhi, March 15 (PTI): Private cellular operators today criticised Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for shifting the blame on service providers for poor call quality, saying the regulator was only trying to cover up its own failures.

“It is a matter of grave concern to us that having been unsuccessful in its attempts for timely augmentation of points of interconnection (POIs), Trai is now seeking to shift the blame on cellular operators,” T.V. Ramachandran, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a letter to Trai.

The authority is also aware that in a market where one operator dominates with almost 90% of the bottleneck facilities (BSNL), it is unrealistic to expect that the new entrants will be able to address this problem overnight through negotiations.

Trai has failed to resolve the interconnection impasse, though it addressed the problem by issuing the reference interconnection order.

In such a situation “we would like to point out that under the Act, the authority (Trai) is duty bound to protect the interests of service providers,” Ramachandran said in reply to Trai’s show cause notice to operators experiencing congestion in their networks.

On the proposed action by Trai against operators having congestion level of above 0.5 per cent in their networks, Ramachandran said: “Such selective actions by the authority reflect an underlying recognition of the ground reality that in this era of rapid growth it is not possible for the industry to strictly meet the quality of service benchmarks fixed by Trai.”

The Coai also sought four weeks time instead of 10 days as given by Trai to reply to its show cause notices, saying the operators would carry out studies to find out reasons for such congestions in their network.

The association also asked Trai that they should be given an opportunity to explain before the regulator takes any action or sends a show cause notice.

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