Telecom regulator TRAI imposed fines totalling about Rs 5 crore in 2013 on operators for poor services and on telemarketers for pesky calls.
The regulator disconnected 9 lakh numbers and blacklisted over 1.74 lakh unregistered individuals for making pesky calls and SMSes during the year.
"Rs 2.8 crore financial disincentive was imposed across all telecom operators for failing to meet quality of services (QoS) benchmark in 2013. However, there has been improvement in quality of services," TRAI's Advisor for QoS, A Robert
Jerad Ravi said here while releasing activities of the regulator during 2013.
Under existing regulations, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India can impose up to Rs 50,000 penalty on telecom operators for failing to meet any quality of service parameter for mobile services and up to Rs 1 lakh for repeating such failures.
For example, if call drop rate benchmark of (less than) two per cent is not met by an operator, a financial disincentive up to Rs 50,000 can be imposed.
In case, the benchmark for the same parameter i.e. call drop rate benchmark is not met in any of the subsequent quarters, financial disincentive up to Rs 1,00,000 can be
imposed by the authority. Ravi said that earlier telecom operators were not meeting
quality of services norms in 170 circles (number of circles counted on individual operator basis). The number of circles where operators did not meet the parameters has now come down to 104.
On pesky calls, Ravi said the number of complaints have come down from about 50,000 per month to about 11,000. "Financial disincentive of Rs 2.15 crore was imposed on telemarketers in last 4 months. About 9 lakh telecom resources
were disconnected in this year," he said.
The regulator also snapped connections of about 60 business houses which included about 40 real estate companies and miscellaneous entities.
"Regulator has given forbearance to banking and insurance companies which ended in December as there were sincere in promises. We are monitoring activities and action will be taken," Ravi said.
Talking about the digitisation of cable, TRAI's Principal Advisor for Broadcasting services N Parameswaran said: "Phase 2 of cable digitisation in 38 cities is complete which means about 12 million set-top-boxes have been seeded and we have
received about 80 per cent consumer applications forms."
He said TRAI has put rules in place to protect interest of consumers and the regulator now is pressing cable companies to implement rules issued by it.
"We have issued direction on installing set-top-box on rental basis and are now closely monitoring implementation of the guidelines," Parameswaran said.