TRAI asks clarification from SIM companies for Poor service quality


New Delhi, March 14:  Indian telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) asked International SIM card and global calling card companies to explain over instances of unsatisfactory service quality provided to consumers when they are travelling abroad.

TRAI, on last week, called a meeting of 8-9 players and asked them to explain the reason for the poor service, which causes huge troubles to customers when they are abroad.

A few operators who were part of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) meeting included Matrix, Uniconnect and Oneworld Teleservices.

The move came only months after an SMS (Short Message Service)-based survey initiated by TRAI revealed that nearly half the consumers who used the services felt that it worked partially or did not work at all.

 “The Message-based survey asked consumers whether their international SIM (Subscriber identity module)
cards worked when they were abroad. Close to 50 percent of the subscribers responded saying it worked. Of the rest, nearly 30 percent said it did not work at all and 20 percent said it worked partially,” a TRAI source said.

Given the high proportion of respondents claiming that their SIM cards did not work, TRAI reached out to the SIM card companies to seek an explanation.

“We asked them what are the reasons, how can the situation be improved. What are the issues…Is it to do with the SIM cards, or connectivity problem at the level of local country specific operator, or is it that people did not follow proper procedure for dialling,” the TRAI source said.

The card providers have been asked to check their records and analyze the issue and revert with their responses over the next few days.

The TRAI officials said that the issue could prompt the regulator to recommend tightening of service quality measures around international SIM card and global calling cards sold in India.

“The options may include mandating a toll-free number or a 24-hour call centre number where consumers can call for help. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India could also considering recommending refund of money, depending on the situation,” the source added.