Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm said they have received demand notices from the telecom regulator for slipping on multiple quality of service (QoS) norms during the March quarter.
“Bharti Airtel has received demand notices, totaling Rs 11 lakh towards penalties in respect of six circles -- Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata and Gujarat -- for the quarter ending March 2018,” the Sunil Mittal-led telco said late Tuesday evening in response to a BSE query on media reports about the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) slapping penalties on big telcos, including Airtel, Reliance Jio, and erstwhile Vodafone India/Idea Cellular -- which have recently merged – for alleged violation of QoS parameters.
Airtel said the “penalties are towards routine parameters such as accessibility of call center, percentage of calls answered by operators and metering and billing credibility,” adding that it “would deal appropriately” with the demand notices.
In a similar response to BSE, Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries, said its subsidiary, “Jio has received a communication from Trai regarding payment of a Rs 34 lakh financial disincentive for not meeting certain call centre service parameters”.
“Jio will take necessary action for obtaining requisite clarification from Trai,” RIL said in its late night response to the BSE query.
RIL, further said, the company “would make necessary disclosures in compliance with its obligations under Securities & Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations & Disclosure Requirements) Regulations 2015,” and its agreements with stock exchanges.
At press time, Vodafone-Idea had not replied to BSE’s queries on the reported imposition of penalties.
According to media reports, Jio, Vodafone India and Idea have been fined about Rs 34 lakh, Rs 4 lakh, 12..5 lakh respectively.
Trai had made the QoS norms more stringent and has asked all carriers to abide by the new benchmarks from October, 2017.
Trai chairman R S Sharma had had reportedly said recently that the sector regulator was in the advanced stages of slapping penalties on mobile operators that have flouted service quality norms.