Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed serious concern over the issue of “call drops” and asked officials about steps being taken to address the issue while Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked telecom companies to optimise networks to end this problem.
The prime minister said as call drops directly affects the common man, “steps be taken urgently to resolve the problem, and also to ensure that the problems in voice connectivity do not extend to data connectivity in the future, an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Apprised of the status of mobile connectivity across the country, Modi directed officials to explore the possibility of leveraging existing resources, including railway and other communication infrastructure, to provide mobile connectivity in remote, and unconnected areas.
He also emphasized that the targets for digital infrastructure should be synchronized with the targets for the Digital India initiative.
Meanwhile, Prasad, in a press meet told reporters: “Government is proactive as far as facilitation is concerned. But telecom operators should rise to the occasion and address call drop issues.”
The minister said what the government required to do has been done and will be done in the future.
“Telecom companies need to optimise their network and install more towers. Government is proactively looking at permitting in-building solutions in large government buildings,” he said.
Talking about apprehensions regarding radiations from mobile towers, Prasad said those are baseless.
“We have written to the government departments and states to allow tower installation,” he added.
Prasad mentioned that it is not enough that the telecom companies will only add subscribers, it is also important for them to give quality services.
In a meeting between Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg and CEOs of telecom service providers (TSPs) on Aug 18 where various issues related to call drops were discussed, the latter were asked to improve quality of service by focusing on improving capital expenditure and optimising resource utilisation to curb the connectivity problems.
Earlier in the day new Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R.S.Sharma said the regulator will be out with a consultation paper on call drops in a fortnight.
“Will look at disincentivising telcos for call drops. Have asked telcos to submit tariff plans that incentivize call drops,” he added.