NEW DELHI: India has one of the lowest telecom tariffs in the world, but lower tariffs apparently do not guarantee good call quality, and many consumers have reported issues such as poor call clarity, voice breaks and call drops.
Consumers say call quality has deteriorated in the past year.
According to LocalCircles online polling, 35 per cent of the citizens say one in four calls drop, and 21 per cent say one in two calls drop. Consumers said that call drops had increased over the past few months as telecom operators moved their networks from 2G or 3G to 4G.
LocalCircles conducted surveys to ascertain consumer perceptions when it came to call drops and call clarity across the country. Polls were conducted across 200 districts and they received more than 12,000 votes.
The first poll asked citizens what percentage of their mobile phone calls dropped or had a connection issue.
In response, 21 per cent said over 50 per cent of their calls had issues, 35 per cent said 20-50 per cent of their calls had issues, 33 per cent said up to 20 per cent of their calls had connection issues, and only 11 per cent said they did not face any issues.
Last year, TRAI had issued stringent rules for telecom companies who failed to meet voice quality benchmarks.
The rules prescribed a maximum penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh per circle. In the second poll, 20 per cent of the citizens said that while speaking on the phone when they had a bad connection, the call drops after more than a minute. Thirty-one per cent said it dropped after 30-60 seconds, 21 per cent said it dropped within 30 seconds, and 28 per cent said it did not drop automatically at all.
Consumers also said that call drops had increased over the past few months as telecom operators moved their networks from 2G or 3G to 4G but were not investing enough in their network capacity.
Citizens said that telecom service providers should ensure optimum quality levels in voice calls and should be held responsible for the plunging service levels.