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Trai to seek call masking details from telecom operators

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Telecom regulator Trai will seek details of the radio link timeout technology, allegedly being used for masking call drops and resulting in higher bills for subscribers.

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“Before setting up any enquiry, we will seek details of radio-link technology (RLT) from telecom operators around parameters that are applicable globally, they are following here and parameters that they have been following over a period of one year,” Trai Chairman R S Sharma told reporters on sidelines of India Satcom event.

In the latest test drive conducted by the Trai in Delhi, state-owned telecom operator MTNL failed on all network-based quality of service parameters.

As per the report for Delhi, Aircel and Vodafone have been using RLT beyond the levels their peers follow. RLT is one of the parameters which decides for how long the call should be sustained if the signal quality drops below a certain threshold.

As per an official source, some telecom operators are using it for masking call drops, resulting in higher bills for subscribers.

“Today, the test drive report of Hyderabad and Bhopal will be made public,” Sharma said.

The Supreme Court recently quashed a rule that mandated telecom operators to compensate consumers Re 1 for each call drop with the upper limit at Rs 3 per day.

At present, disputes between consumers and telecom operators are not taken up by consumer courts as a Supreme Court judgement of 2009 had barred seeking any such relief under the Consumer Protection Act, saying a special remedy is provided under the Indian Telegraph Act.

The National Telecom Policy 2012 envisages to undertake legislative measures to bring disputes between consumers and telecom service providers within the jurisdiction of consumer forums established under the Consumer Protection Act.

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