Nepal Telecommunications Authority(NTA) introduced the Telecom Quality Service Bylaw in mid-July which requires telecom operators to compensate their customers for call drops (cut off in calls before users hang up the calls).
It has been six months since NTA made this compensatory provision for the first time in the domestic telecom sector to regulate services provided by the operators. However, this provision has not yet been implemented by telecom operators.
The main reason behind this is that NTA has not put in any serious effort to implement the provision. At the same time, telecom operators are defying the provision citing that they are not in a position to reimburse customers for all types of quality defects that customers face in their network.
“Dropped calls are not entirely due to the fault of telecom companies. The quality of mobile sets and the place from where customers are using the telecom company’s network also determine the quality of telecom services,” said Prativa Baidhya, spokesperson for Nepal Telecom.
She also said that In such circumstances, telecom companies cannot reimburse customers for all service quality faults, including call drops that customers have to face.
According to Baidhya, Nepal Telecom(NT) has written a letter to NTA notifying the inconvenience in implementing the provision. However, NTA has not responded to NT’s letter. Furthermore, telecom operators have also requested NTA to make the provision more flexible but no action seems to be taken by NTA.
Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA, mentioned that telecom companies have not yet implemented the compensatory provision. There is no point in amending the rule before telecom companies actually start implementing the provision. Furthermore, he said that NTA has been quite flexible in implementing the compensatory provision fully as it would require telecom operators to update their software and add new equipment.
It has already been six months since the provision was enforced. NTA says it will now start monitoring telecom firms and their services. According to Aryal, if the telecom companies are found not compensating customers for faulty services, NTA will take necessary action.