India's DoT to meet telecoms chiefs over dropped calls

The Indian Department of Telecom (DoT) is set to meet service providers and regulators amid concerns about dropped calls, according to reports.

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan will hold separate meetings with both operators and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 10 January to discuss service quality rules implemented by the regulator last year.

Speaking at a conference, Sundararajan told reporters in India the meetings with CEOs of the major telecoms companies with discuss the “situation on call drops”. They will be chaired by the DoT, who will also meet TRAI separately on the same day.

“We want to convey to the operators, the government's concerns on state of call drops. Service providers have to get their act together," Sundararajan said, according to the Economic Times.

Call drops have been a major issue for politicians in India, with TRAI ordering operators to compensate users for dropped calls in 2016, only to see the Supreme Court strike down its ruling.

Under TRAI's Quality of Service (QoS) formula, which was put into force in October, telecom operators may face a maximum penalty of Rs 10 lakh ($15,750) for call drops which will be measured at mobile tower level instead of telecom circle level.

Sundararajan said the DoT has been “monitoring” the situation since the new rules came into force, with the first quarter of reporting under the new formula due.

In a separate announcement, DoT’s Telecom Commission is also set to meet to discuss a proposal to raise spectrum caps made by TRAI, according to the Times of India.

The regulator has proposed reforms that will lift a ceiling on mobile spectrum operators can hold in a specific band, instead introducing a 50% cap on combined spectrum holdings.

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