Call drops: Ravi Shankar Prasad asks telcos to shape up, or face ‘serious consequences’

By: | Published: December 13, 2015 10:32 PM

In a stern warning to telecom operators on the call drop issue, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said it's not his "job to find towers" and the companies must improve their networks, or face serious action.

Draft Encryption Policy“Telcos must improve networks, it’s not my job to find towers… If they don’t, consequences will be serious,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad.

In a stern warning to telecom operators on the call drop issue, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said it’s not his “job to find towers” and the companies must improve their networks, or face serious action.

“Telcos must improve networks, it’s not my job to find towers… If they don’t, consequences will be serious,” Prasad told CNN-IBN during an interview.

Telecom operators have been blaming the call drops on lack of sufficient mobile towers.

As a way out, Trai has come out with a compensation policy, mandating that telecom companies from January 1 should compensate users at the rate of Re 1 per dropped call, with a ceiling of three such calls per day, which works out to Rs 3 a day.

The minister was unambiguously clear. “Telcos can’t concentrate on data at the cost of voice calls,” he said.

The state-owned BSNL is already on track to recovery as its customer base is rising steadily, the minister added, hoping that another state-run entity, MTNL too would turn around.

He made it clear that the priority of the government is to improve the health of MTNL, and not to privatise it.

Acknowledging “the great role” post offices are playing in digital financial inclusion, Prasad said they are being encouraged to get into the booming e-commerce sector.

Asserting that he does not want to be known as a ‘call drop minister’, Prasad had earlier said operators must reinforce their networks to improve quality of services.

He had also said the implementation of the investment commitments made by telecom players to upgrade networks is being monitored.

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