Continuing with the efforts to check call drops, Manoj Sinha, the newly appointed minister of state (independent charge) for communications, on Monday said the department of telecommunications (DoT) will try to address the concerns of operators to improve quality of services by August.
The DoT is currently considering clearing issues such as allocation of microwave access and backhand spectrum, e-KYC norms for acquisition of subscribers, streamlining of SACFA procedures and formulating Uniform Towers Policy, and Right of Way policy, Sinha told reporters after an hour-long meeting with the chief executives of mobile phone companies.
In the meeting attended by Bharti Airtel CEO (India and South) Gopal Vittal, Vodafone India managing director Sunil Sood and Idea Cellular managing director Himanshu Kapania, along with the heads of Reliance Jio Infocomm and other operators, the companies said they had installed 48,000 towers of the 60,000 towers within 45 days, as per the earlier agreed 100-day plan since June 10. In the next one year, the operators have assured to install 1,00,000 towers, Sinha said. He added that apart from quality of services of calls, the department had also raised the issue of network quality for data services.
“Overall it was a very good meeting,” Vittal said, adding that the discussions involved more issues, including addressing call drops.
Speaking on behalf of operators, Rajan S Mathews, director-general of the Cellular Operators Association of India, said there had been significant reduction in the instances of call drops except for some key spot areas. The minister and secretary have assured help to telecom operators to address call drops, he said.
The meeting assumes significance since it is the first time that Sinha met the operators after assuming charge to discuss various issues, including the crucial concern on instances of call drops, over which even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had voiced concern.