The rate of call drops in the country has come down by around 8% in the last one year and the target is to reduce it further by a similar margin by the end of December, telecom minister Manoj Sinha said on Friday after reviewing the matter with the CEOs of top mobile firms. “Call drop has reduced by 8% so far since we held the last review meet. We have set a target to reduce it by another 8% by the end of this year,” Sinha said. He said the last data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and also the survey done by the department of telecommunication (DoT) through automated calls to the public show an improvement on the call drop front during the review period. Sinha had held a meeting in July 2016 with operators where the latter had set 100-day and one-year plans for improvement on the call drop front.
“Telecom operators met the target set for them. In 100 days, telecom companies installed 60,000 BTS (base transceiver stations) and 3.49 lakh BTSes were installed in one year,” Sinha said. However, he added that the telcos are facing resistance from people in installing mobile towers, especially in Delhi and Mumbai. “Even after necessary approvals from the government, telecom operators are unable to install mobile towers. They are not getting space to install mobile towers as required. The DoT secretary and other department officials will coordinate with other government departments. NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) will make available government buildings for installation of BTSes,” Sinha said. He said the operators are facing similar issues in different parts of the country but resistance is more in Delhi and Mumbai.
Friday’s meeting saw the participation from Bharti Airtel managing director and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal, Idea Cellular MD and CEO Himanshu Kapania, Reliance Jio director Mahendra Nahata, BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava, MTNL CMD PK Purwar, Telenor India CEO Sharad Mehrotra as well as senior officials from Vodafone India and Reliance Communications. The minister also said that DoT has been taking various initiatives such as ensuring availability of spectrum, permitting sharing of both active and passive infrastructure and notifying right of way rules.