New Delhi: More than 41,000 telecom subscribers filed complaints against various service providers with the Department of Telecom and sectoral regulator TRAI over poor network and other service grievances in the first half of the 2011-12 fiscal, the Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
"From April 1 to September 30 this year, 1,418 service-related complaints, which include complaints relating to poor network/services against various telecom service providers, have been received in TRAI," Telecom Minister Milind Deora said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He added that 41,341 complaints against various telecom service providers -- including grievances related to poor network and services -- have been received in the public grievances cell of the DoT between April 1 and October 31, 2011.
Most of the complaints filed with the DoT were against state-run telecom companies MTNL and BSNL. Over 24,000 complaints were received against MTNL and 11,000 against BSNL.
Among private operators, Reliance Communications (RCom) topped the charts for the maximum number of complaints. A total of 1,859 complaints were filed against RCom with the DoT and 232 with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Airtel was next in the list of maximum complaints, with 1,392 grievances lodged against the company with the DoT and 391 with TRAI.
In his written reply, the Telecom Minister also attached the latest Quality of Service report by TRAI for the quarter ended June, 2011, which shows BSNL has not been able to meet quality benchmarks for most parameters as specified by TRAI.
Among private telecom operators, Aircel had the poorest credibility with respect to pre-paid and post-paid billing of mobile phones in most telecom circles.
Deora said Aircel, in its clarification, has attributed the poor performance to system configuration, system errors, segmented promotional offers, complaints related to value-added services, etc.
In addition, he said TRAI has found a severe problem of call drops on the networks of Tata Teleservices (TTSL), Idea Cellular, Unitech Wireless and Etisalat, among private operators.
"The benchmark of the parameter worst-affected cells having more than 3 per cent TCH (calls) drop were reported mainly from rural areas due to low call volumes and customers moving beyond the covered areas of the rural sites," TTSL said in its reply to government.
The company added that the issue is being addressed through optimisation methods. A similar clarification was provided by Etisalat DB.
Unitech Wireless attributed the call drop problem on its network to a sudden surge in traffic and spectrum consTRAInts, while Idea said the call drop problem on its network in Bihar was due to power problems and heavy storms in the state.