Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad comes down on operators over call drops issue

By: | Updated: July 8, 2015 11:06 AM

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday ordered a special audit of the networks of mobile operators in his attempt to address the problem of frequent call drops.

Ravi Shankar PrasadTelecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has been asked to formulate a system of incentives and disincentives for their service quality. (PTI)

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday ordered a special audit of the networks of mobile operators in his attempt to address the problem of frequent call drops. Prasad also said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has been asked to formulate a system of “incentives and disincentives” for their service quality.

Coming down heavily on mobile operators, the minister said they have been provided “ample amount of spectrum” and it was their “job and responsibility” to upgrade the networks. However, he agreed that the limited availability of sites for putting up mobile towers on radiation and other concerns was affecting the service quality — a reason often cited by the operators for the call drops.

The minister said radiation rules implemented in India are 10 times more stringent than international standards.

“I as telecom minister am also accountable to the consumers. We have already released adequate quantum of spectrum through auctions. It is now the job, the responsibility of the telecom companies to ensure there is no call drops,” Prasad told reporters.

“Telecom companies have to conduct special drives for radio frequency optimisation and monitor it from time to time technologically and otherwise. The government will facilitate,” the minister informed.

The decision comes after the telecom minister had earlier this year asked telecom operators to take necessary steps to ensure that quality service is delivered to mobile users and that they do not face issues like call drops.

The minister also asked telcos to carry out special awareness campaign to educate people so that they do not face problems in installing mobile towers.

“There is a vicious campaign on the issue regarding radiation from mobile tower that it is dangerous for health. If anybody suggests tangible evidence or adverse effect on mobile tower radiation, I will look into it. It is not dangerous.”

The minister also informed that he would speak to state government, including the Delhi government, to ensure that mobile towers are installed on government and public sector unit buildings besides in-building solutions that would relieve lot of load of mobile towers.

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