Call Drops in India: Airtel announces self-regulation on Quality of Service

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Bharti Airtel has announced a 25% more stringent voluntary benchmark of 1.5% for mobile call drops versus the current TRAI prescribed norm of 2% under the Quality of Service regulations.

Based on the calculation of the call drop rate during network busy hour on a monthly average, any amount calculated for exceeding the 1.5% voluntary benchmark, subject to a maximum of INR 100 crores per annum, will be contributed by Airtel towards the education of underprivileged children in rural areas.

This is yet another industry first from Airtel and underlines its commitment to serve its customers with world-class services by prescribing to stricter Quality of Service norms. The Company will report its Quality of Service data and the amount calculated on a quarterly/annual basis to ensure transparency.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “At Airtel, we are absolutely passionate about serving our customers and have deployed globally benchmarked technologies and processes. This self-regulation on Quality of Service further underlines our commitment to our customers despite the challenges of limited spectrum availability and acquisition of sites in urban areas.”

“We have already rolled out Project Leap, our pan-India network transformation program, under which we transparently report our site deployments and invite our customers to log their network issues and site requirements. During FY 16, Airtel invested over INR 15,000 crores across India towards deployment of over 88,000 sites. This is the largest network deployment anywhere in the world outside of China and reinforces our sharp focus on building a future ready network.” Gopal Vittal added.

As per the new benchmark, Airtel will contribute INR 1 lakh for every 0.01% increase in call drop rate beyond 1.5% every month in each circle of operation. Airtel has decided to apply this standard benchmark across the country despite the constraint of difficult operating conditions in some areas, in particular hilly regions such as Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and North East.

In November 2015, Airtel commenced the implementation of its network transformation program – Project Leap. With a national investment of Rs. 60,000 Crores over the next three years, Airtel’s “Project Leap” is a strategic company initiative aimed at perceptibly improving its network quality and delivering the best customer experience.

Airtel’s mobile network in India serves over 250 million mobile customers across the length and breadth of the country. The Airtel network covers ~ 96% of India’s population and reaches 7885 census towns and 779,919 non-census towns and villages.