Telcos Not Using RLT Technology to Mask Call Drops: COAI

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Telcos Not Using RLT Technology to Mask Call Drops: COAI


  • Telcos were alleged to be using RLT technology to mask call drops.
  • COAI has squashed the allegations, saying them to be malign.
  • Call drops have been a serious issue in India, especially in metros.
Industry body COAI Tuesday rejected allegation of "inappropriately" using the radio link time out technology for masking call drops and it is used globally by all operators to ensure optimal customer experience.

"We would like to reiterate that network operators in India have not used this feature to inappropriately "mask dropped calls" or charge customers.

We believe this is just part of a campaign by vested interests to continue to malign the hard work being done by the government and operators to address the issue of network quality," COAI said in a statement.

According to an official source, telecom operators are using RLT to mask call drops. With help of this technology, the calls remains connected even if a consumer moves to poor network coverage area for which he is billed.

"Mobile service operators categorically reject such allegations as mischievous, motivated and totally without merit," The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.

The industry body said that the so called 'call drop masking technology', is actually a network parameter called, Radio Link Time Out (RLT) feature, which is a part of the GSM standards.

"The particular RLT feature has been used globally by all operators to ensure optimal customer experience and it is surprising that operators are now being accused of using it as a means to 'mask' call drops and disenfranchise customers, whereas its objective is just the opposite," COAI said.

It said that RLT is just one of the parameters, which decides for how long the call should be sustained if the signal quality drops below a certain threshold.

"For a momentary loss of signal quality it is undesirable to disconnect the call immediately to avoid the inconvenience to the customer of redialing the number," COAI said.

Explaining with the help of an example, it said that a customer is travelling on a highway or in the city and in such a situation the signal quality might get impacted due to varying radio signal strength.

If the value of this RLT parameter is kept low in such cases then the call would get disconnected frequently even though there may be only a momentary loss of voice quality, leaving the subscriber with no option other than to frequently redial the number to initiate a new call, COAI said.

"Thus, RLT is just one of the various parameters which balances situations such as those listed above in order to avoid customer inconvenience," it said.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked the Department of Telecom to look into the matter and work with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on this issue.


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