Mobile phone users are set to receive talktime compensation for calls dropped during conversations between numbers of the same operator from Oct 1.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, or BTRC, directed the mobile networks to that end at a press briefing on Monday. The watchdog also asked the operators to inform users about dropped calls through text messages.
Brigadier General Nasim Parvez, the director general of System and Services Division of BTRC, said a user will get three pulses, or 30 seconds, as compensation for each of the first two dropped calls in a day
Each user will get four pulses per dropped call from the third to the seventh dropped call of the day.
He added the telecom regulator is working on a method to compensate for calls dropped during connections with other network operators.
BTRC set three conditions for operators to compensate for dropped calls:
- The compensated talktime will be activated the next day and the operators cannot charge the users for calls before the compensated talktime is fully used.
- Operators have to inform users about compensated talktime due to dropped calls through SMSs within 24 hours.
- Operators can restore users’ talktime on the account of dropped calls the same day.
Brigadier General Parvez said customers will be able to check their dropped call talktime amount through USSD code *121*765# on all networks.
The code will inform users about on-net dropped calls for “previous days, weeks or month”
He also highlighted the measures BTRC had taken to prevent call drops since 2016. “Of all the call drops customers go through, 65 percent are reported as the first and 98 percent are from first to seventh.”
Telecoms Minister Mustafa Jabbar, who joined the briefing online, marked the move as a “milestone to safeguard the rights of the people using services” of the sector. He said call drops were “fraudulent” towards customers.
On whether the move would affect operators’ eagerness to expand mobile networks, Jabbar said: “They will have to raise the quality of service themselves. Customers can’t suffer if they fail to do that. Because I don’t want compensation, I require proper service.”
The press briefing presented a data analysis on call drops for all operators barring Teletalk.
On this, BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder said: “Teletalk has to compensate in the same manner. It’s not that we didn’t take its information. We did, but did not incorporate it in the presentation.”
According to the BTRC analysis, users of Grameenphone go through 49.6 percent of all dropped calls, Robi users 41.45 percent and Banglalink customers 8.95 percent.