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Service quality a matter of immediate concern: TRAI chief RS Sharma

Airtel

Monday, 10 August,New Delhi: Telecom regulator TRAI, under the new Chairman, R S Sharma, will look at resolving service quality issue such as call drops on a priority basis and simultaneously expedite work on Net neutrality, broadcast digitisation and spectrum pricing, among others.

“Some of the issues that I have been able to figure out as Secretary, DeitY, Member of Telecom Commission and a common man are quality of service, the need to discuss Net neutrality and expediting digitisation of broadcast services. All this will be done while keeping in mind interest of all stakeholders,” Sharma told reporters here on Monday.

He took charge of the post today which was lying vacant since May 14 after the then chairman Rahul Khullar retired.

“I have started my contribution to the position today. I will discuss all issues with members of the organisation and then finalise a road map,” Sharma said.

A Jharkhand cadre IAS of 1978 batch, Sharma has played a key role in implementing Aadhaar project and designing the road map for the government’s Digital India programme.

“Priority is also to ensure transparent and fair play in the sector. There are multiple stakeholders in the telecom sector and they will not have their interest aligned. I will see that we are able to regulate effectively,” Sharma said.

Known for his tech savviness, Sharma said he will take help of technology to understand issues related to call drops and quality of service.

“I am also going to introduce technology in finding out root cause of various problems. Call drop problem, for example, is something we can analyse with the help of technology and suggest possible solutions,” Sharma said.

The industry has cited lack of spectrum and protest from the public to installing mobile towers as the reasons for call drops. Khullar too had agreed.

Sharma said the government has asked the regulator to determine base or minimum price of telecom spectrum in all bands for the next auction.

“We will start working on it very soon,” he said.

On its part, the government has maintained that there is enough spectrum available in the country, citing about 11% unsold airwaves in March 2015 auction. It has, however, acknowledged that companies do face problems in installing mobile towers.

PTI