The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked major Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to review the issues related to quality of telecom services being faced by consumers and the menace of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC) or spam calls.
The directions to the TSPs came in view of the rising instances of service quality issues and consumer complaints. TRAI said telcos will be asked to implement an AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) tool which has been found to be effective in detecting and blocking spam calls and messages that is pushed by unregistered telemarketers through telephone numbers (10 digits numbers).
TRAI officials had met telecom companies including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to review service quality issues, norms for 5G services as well as on unsolicited commercial communications.
TRAI has asked telecom operators to report call drop and outage data at the state level also and take immediate steps to “demonstrate visible improvement” in quality of service and connectivity experience for consumers across the country.
TSPs were asked to analyse the issue of call muting and one way speech and take corrective action on priority. While rolling out 5G network, TSPs should ensure that there is least disturbance or degradation of QoS of existing telecom services.
TSPs were further informed that TRAI is closely monitoring the incidences of long duration network outages. Such outages adversely affect quality of services and consumer experience. All the telecom providers were asked to report such outages to TRAI in any district or State. TRAI may consider bringing suitable regulation in this regard, if required.
TRAI also asked TSPs to plan and implement systems for online data collection for QoS benchmarks and their processing to generate performance reports with License Service Area, State level or lower granularity. This will simplify process of QoS performance reporting by TSPs and thereby reduction in compliance burden.
Considering the scale and size of network, being set up for rollout of 5G services, and important use cases being developed by different industry verticals, TRAI asked TSPs to implement systems for internal QoS monitoring by TSPs on 24×7 and 360-degree basis. The exploitation of network features as per standard and adoption of Al/ ML techniques for QoS monitoring and management was also suggested.
This new comprehensive tool (currently being tested by Vodafone Idea) is expected to be implemented in about two months by the industry, reducing the menace of spam messages, TRAI officials said.
The regulator made it clear to players that more stringent service benchmarks are on the anvil when it comes to calling quality parameters, and that a consultation process will be initiated by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) in the coming months for this. TRAI’s diktat to telecom companies to improve service quality is bound to cheer mobile customers, irked by call drops, patchy networks and spam calls. While 5G call data will be reported under the current system for now, separate QoS (Quality of Service) indicators for these next-generation services will come up eventually.
“We have been examining the issue of call drops and service quality, and there has been a rise in complaints also after 5G implementation. We have told operators to improve the quality of service immediately, whether or not it is due to the rollout of 5G services,” officials said.
While rolling out 5G network, operators will need to ensure that there is least disturbance or degradation of service quality of existing telecom services. During the meeting, telecom operators admitted that there were some “problems” during the rollout of 5G, but assured that those have now been sorted out.