Trai to begin drive test for call drops in January

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New Delhi : Telecom regulator Trai will again begin drive tests in January to assess call drop and other network issues of various operators, including newcomer Reliance Jio.

According to Trai’s analytics portal, drive tests were conducted in Amritsar in August-September, and in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Trivandrum in May-June.

While the telecom operators submit Performance Monitoring Reports to Trai every quarter, the regulator also undertakes audit and assessment of service quality through independent agencies. The audit agencies conduct sample ‘Drive tests’ across various cities in the country, as part of audit and assessment of the operators’ performance.

The drive tests assess the performance of networks on various quality benchmarks, including call set-up success rate, call drop rate, blocked calls and Radio Frequency (RF) Coverage.

Over the last few months, both telecom regulator and Department of Telecom have toughened their stance on service quality issues such as call drops and call failures.

In October, Trai recommended imposition of Rs 1,050 crore penalty each for Airtel and Vodafone, and Rs 950 crore for Idea Cellular, for denying interconnect to Jio, after taking note of the high rate of call failures and congestion at interconnect points for the new operator.