Telecom operators will face action for using radio-link technology to mask call drops, Union Minister Manoj Sinha said today.
Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha on usage of radio-link technology for hiding call drops, Sinha said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India through agencies has conducted drive tests of mobile networks in 12 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
“Some of the service providers in these cities have high RLT values, which indicate that the call can be sustained even during poor quality for a longer time, resulting in the poor customer experience,” the telecom minister said.
He said that Trai has sought detailed information from mobile service providers on the RLT values on their network.
“After examination of the information received from the service providers, necessary action will be taken,” Sinha said.
In a separate reply, Sinha said, “Only BSNL in North East Service area has not met the benchmark for this parameter in 2G services and number of instances of non-compliance has increased from two in December 2015 to three in March 2016 for 3G services.”
He, however, said that instances of call drops during peak hours or related ‘worst effected cells’ have come down from 39 in December 2015 to 27 in March 2016 for 2G services and from 18 to 15 for 3G services during period under review.
Replying to a question on the Supreme Court order that quashed Trai’s call drop rule mandating telecom operators to provide compensation to users, Sinha said that the government has taken note of the order which raised “questions on Trai’s power and working”.
“In order to strengthen its role as an effective Telecom Sector Regulator, Trai has proposed a review of the existing Trai Act 1997 governing its functions for which government is at present examining a comprehensive legislative proposal to review and harmonise the legal framework,” Sinha said.
To another question on government’s effort to reduce ‘call drop’, Sinha replied that the Ministry of Urban Development has agreed to permit installation of mobile towers in the government buildings under their control subject to structural safety and payment of appropriate licence fee by the telecom operators.
Telecom operators have blamed local authorities and residents association for obstructing installation of mobile towers which has led to increase in call drops.