New Delhi: Telecom operators Aircel, Reliance Communications (RCom) and Airtel did not meet telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s various quality norms for 2G services in multiple licence areas for the quarter ended December 2016.
“... whereas Aircel is not meeting the various parameters in 27 licence areas, Reliance Communications in GSM services in 25 service areas and Airtel in 15 service areas," telecom minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
The TRAI monitors the performance of service providers, including state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) against the benchmarks for various quality of service parameters through quarterly performance monitoring reports submitted by service providers.
Citing TRAI’s December 2016 report, the minister said that for 2G services MTNL is meeting all the parameters except one pertaining to percentage requests for termination and closure of services complied within seven days (whether the set benchmark is 100%).
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Similarly, BSNL is meeting benchmarks for all parametrise except for one in West Bengal service area. In the quarter ended December 2016, for 3G services, MTNL met the benchmark for all parametrise except one on congestion at the point of interconnect.
“Whereas Aircel is not meeting the benchmark for various parametrise in 14 licence areas," the minister said. According to information shared by the minister, newcomer Reliance Jio has 94.28% urban subscribers as on 1 December, 2016. For Bharti, this number stood at 50.88%, and in the case of Vodafone and Idea at 46.29% and 45.23%, respectively.
Responding to another query, Sinha said an estimated 55,000 villages in the country do not have mobile coverage. Various schemes are being implemented with financial support from the Universal Service Obligation Fund for provision of services in commercially unviable rural and remote areas of the country.
To a separate question, the minister replied that the powers of the telecom department to impose financial penalty on various service providers for violation of terms and conditions of the licence agreement stands reinstated, with the pronouncement of an order of the Division Bench of High Court of Tripura in favour of Union of India.