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TRAI slaps fine on Jio, Airtel, others for not meeting service quality norms

Monday, September 10, 2018

Regulator TRAI has imposed penalties on major telecom operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular (now merged), for slipping on various service quality benchmarks for the March quarter, according to multiple sources.

The fines cover various parameters and service areas, and all the operators are in the process of making the payment, sources told PTI. About Rs 34 lakh fine has been imposed for March 2018 quarter on Reliance Jio, the aggressive player whose offerings since 2016 have shaken the market and triggered a bruising tariff war among operators.

The penalty on the Mukesh Ambani-led firm is on account of Trai-defined service quality parameters, including Point of Interconnect congestion, accessibility of call centres or customer care, and percentage of calls answered by operators (voice to voice) in a set timeframe.

An e-mail sent to Reliance Jio seeking its response on the penalty did not elicit a response. Maintaining its watch on service quality in the sector, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had tightened the rules and asked players to abide by its new quality of service (QoS) benchmarks from October 1, 2017. The latest assessment reflects how the operators have fared between January and March 2018 on Trai's new service quality benchmarks.

Bharti Airtel -- which was the largest telecom operator in the country till the merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular shuffled the pecking order late last month -- has been fined to the tune of about Rs 11 lakh for the three months to March, as per sources.

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