Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced serious concerns over call drops and directed officials to resolve the issue on an urgent basis, as the issue directly impacted the common man and also asked them to ensure the problems in voice connectivity do not extend to data connectivity in the future.
While reviewing the progress of digital infrastructure, rural infrastructure and connectivity sectors on Monday, the PM was apprised of the status of mobile connectivity across the country. He also asked officials to explore the possibility of leveraging existing resources, including the railways and other communication infrastructure, to provide mobile connectivity in remote, unconnected areas.
“The PM has directed that 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 future,” an official statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said on Tuesday.
Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said telecom companies have to find a solution as the call drop problem has become serious in the past three-four months. He said telcos are not doing enough to reduce call drops.
He also reiterated that telecom companies must optimise their networks, even as he promised full support on the policy front including on installation of towers.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R S Sharma said a consultation paper on call drops will be issued in a fortnight wherein all stakeholders can give their comments. Regarding a disincentive mechanism for call drops, Sharma said the regulator is looking at it and that it is also examining various tariff plans of the telecom operators.
The government had asked Trai to suggest disincentives for call drops and also examine the tariff plans of operators to ascertain whether they were incentivising call drops. The industry has refuted the charge of deliberately promoting call drops. A recent Trai report found that most of the telecom operators in Delhi and Mumbai were not meeting the prescribed standards regarding call drops.