The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is spreading its wings outside Delhi to set up new units across all major cities, to keep a check performance parameters of telecom service providers in the field.
Currently, Trai operates from Delhi and monitors performance of operators by relying on the data received from service providers and its own agencies.
Now, Trai plans to open 10 new offices across major cities including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune amongst others. This will help the regulator in assessing required information directly on the field, a person close to the development told Business Standard.
Trai may set up more offices across the country, a senior official said while confirming the move. It has already started scouting for land to set up new offices in the concerned cities.
Another person aware of the development said Trai has recently been receiving more customer and malpractice complaints. This move will address these issues and force operators to keep their service quality intact. This would also help the regulator oversee all rate-related issues, of utmost concern to Trai.
The regulator had earlier asked the department of telecommunications (DoT) to transfer TERM cells, a DoT unit, under its control. Term Cells ensure that service providers comply with all licence conditions, besides being responsible for telecom network security issues.
However, an internal DoT committee, which studied Trai’s recommendations, refused and said TERM cells were doing more of security-related functions, which cannot be transferred to Trai. Trai had subsequently argued that under the Trai Act, it has to discharge various functions, including compliance of the terms and conditions of licence and ensuring effective compliance of universal service obligations. DoT may consider enabling Trai and its regional offices to coordinate with TERM cells in the performance of some of its tasks.
DoT has 34 TERM cells across the country and if the proposal would have been accepted, Trai would have managed to monitor the performances of operators from these 34 locations.
DoT, while refusing the demand of transfer of TERM cell to TRAI, has not yet taken any final decision on the coordination between these cells and the regulator.