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Operators told to shape up on call-drop problem: Prasad


Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday asserted that telecom operators have been told to shape up on the issue of the growing problem of call drops and that the situation was improving.

“There is a problem about call drops, but the situation is improving,” Prasad told reporters here.

“All the telecom operators have been told to take steps to improve quality of services,” he said, adding that the department of telecommunications (DoT) had reviewed the situation on weekly basis for the past two months.

“DoT Secretary Rakesh Garg has spoken to the owners of the service providers at the highest level,” the minister said.

He said shortage of towers was the main problem for call drops and that a policy decision had been taken under which all buildings of government of India must allow installation of towers.

Post offices too had been directed to allow towers on rent at their buildings throughout the country, Prasad said.

He has also written letters to the chief ministers for installation of towers atop government buildings.

Earlier this month, Prasad, referring to telecom operators citing shutting down mobile towers due to radiation fears as well as lack of spectrum as major reasons for call drops, said the diverse complaints could not be linked together.

“The complaint against call drops and that against tower radiation cannot go together,” Prasad said answering questions at an event in Delhi organised by the Ficci-supported International Chamber of Commerce.

Telecom operators have said about 7,000 to 10,000 tower sites have been locked or shut down across major urban centres and have urged a national policy for installation of mobile towers.

The minister had a stern word for telecom operators on the issue of infrastructure and asked them to deliver “good services”.

“Spectrum has been given (with clearing of spectrum sharing and trading). Don’t now give the impression that you only want to collect customers and give no thought to good services,” he said.

“Operators should optimise their network, synchronise the network and also invest in the network,” he added.


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