Mobile users will get a lot of relief from call drop problem as the recently-concluded airwaves auction is expected to resolve the spectrum shortage issue, Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said today.
“Spectrum shortage was one of the reasons for call drops. We have just auctioned spectrum and with this, the shortage of spectrum is almost finished. Now when they (telecom operators) roll out network in next 6-8 months, there will be a lot of relief from call drops,” Deepak told reporters on the sidelines of a public outreach programme here.
Spelling out more steps to resolve the problem of call drops, the secretary said the number of 2G network not meeting quality benchmark in terms of call drops dropped significantly.
“In October-December 2015, out of 195, (2G network), 54 were not meeting quality of service standards and that was leading to the problem of call drops. In June 2016, with all measures we have taken, this figure dropped to 19 from 54,” he said.
He further said that in the last four months, 1.20 lakh base transceiver stations (BTS) have been set up which will further lead to improvement in service.
On the recent spectrum auction, he said the 965 MHz of spectrum sold and it was more than the total airwaves auctioned previously in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“In this auction, we got an upfront payment of over Rs 32,400 crore…there will be collection of 15 per cent service tax,” he said.
On why the 700MHz band did not find any takers, the telecom secretary said it was costly and ecosystem was not there.
“The (first) reason is ecosystem is not there and the second it was expensive,” he said.
Speaking about the electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions and mobile towers, he said that there was no scientific evidence backing the claim that EMF radiation from mobile towers could cause adverse health effects.
He further said the department was holding a public outreach and awareness programme in several parts of country to share scientific studies on EMF.
“We are trying to convince well meaningful activists about their misconception on radiation,” he said adding that in the next phase, such outreach programmes would be held at district-level as well.
“Telecom towers are critical installations on which the backbone of wireless communication rests and unfounded apprehensions around EMF emissions and mobile towers have the potential to derail our growth story,” he said.