Optimise networks to curb call drops: Prasad to telcos

New Delhi :To curb the menace of call drops, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today asked mobile operators to optimise their networks, even as he promised full support on policy front including on installation of towers.

“…whatever is necessary for policy, we will do, like installation of mobile towers on government buildings, speaking against radiation fears. So, what is required from the government, we will do.

“I expect operators should also do what is required to reinforce their system, optimise their networks,” Prasad told reporters here at a conference of South Asian Telecom Regulation Council at Greater Noida near.

The problem of frequent call drops has worsened in the recent months. At a meeting last evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also voiced concern over call drops and directed the officials to resolve the problem urgently.

Telecom operators have cited shutting down of mobile towers and radiation fears, as also lack of spectrum, as the major reasons for call drops.

The operators have said that about 7,000-10,000 sites have been locked or shut down across major cities and have sought a uniform national policy for installation of mobile towers.

Speaking at the same event, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R S Sharma said a consultation paper on call drops will be issued in a fortnight wherein all stakeholders can give their comments.

Regarding a disincentive mechanism for call drops, Sharma said the regulator is looking at it and TRAI is also examining various tariff plans of the telecom operators.

Government had asked TRAI to suggest disincentives for call drops and also examine the tariff plans of operators to ascertain whether they were incentivising call drops.

The industry has refuted the charge of deliberately promoting call drops.

A recent TRAI report found that most of the telecom operators in Delhi and Mumbai were not meeting the prescribed standards regarding call drops.