The telecom ministry is likely to hold a meeting of senior officials on Thursday to review the situation of call drops as well as discuss the issues raised by telecom operators such as problems in installing towers and equipment in cities, especially Delhi and Mumbai. The meeting comes a month after telecom minister Manoj Sinha and telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan met telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, on the issue.
“Tomorrow’s meeting will be to review the situation as well as discuss the issues raised by operators such as problems in installing telecom towers and equipment, and the status of coordination efforts with other ministries to make available government buildings to install towers. Progress in talks with NDMC on installation of towers will also come up,” a source said.
The meeting will also deliberate on the status of initiatives like sharing of active and passive infrastructure and notifying right of way (RoW) rules. Telecom operators have complained that while the department of telecom (DoT) has notified the RoW rules, states have not been implementing it in the same spirit, the source added.
“Another issue that will be taken up is the efforts needed to bring down call drops to 48% by December in line with the plans chalked out by the telecom minister,” the source said.
According to DoT data, call drops reported by subscribers came down from 64% in December 2016 to 57% by March 2017. The ministry now wants to bring it down by another 8% by December. To counter call drops, telecom operators have been installing towers across the country. Between July 2016 and July this year, 3.49 lakh base transceiver stations (BTS) were added as well as 4.80 lakh bad cells were optimised. Besides, 15,000 repeaters/boosters were also installed.