The Indian telecom service providers will install 60,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) with an investment of around Rs 12,000 crore in the next three months to improve networks which should help check the call drop issue in the country. This was the outcome of the high profile meeting of the Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak with the CEOs of Indian telcos, who presented a 100-day action plan to the government on call drops.
Bharti Airtel’s CEO for India and South Asia Gopal Vittal, Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood, Idea Cellular Managing Director Himanshu Kapania and Reliance Jio’s Managing Director Sanjay Mashruwala among others attended the meeting as COAI members.
“The mobile phone operators have promised to add 60,000 new cell sites where they need to improve their quality of service. The government believes in the telecom sector. The quality of service must improve and industry has responsibility,” the Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak told media on Friday after his first quarterly review meeting with top mobile phone executives since taking over as the telecom secretary.
Deepak also opined that call drops issue isn’t that severe that someone should go to jail every time for that. However he added that the telecom department was yet to take a call on Trai’s proposal. His views follows Trai’s proposal that sought more powers to impose penalties on operators for call drops and poor service quality.
According to him, the call drops issue required a more sophisticated solution and that there was no “magic bullet” to resolve it.
Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), after the meeting, said that the telcos have presented a four-point action plan to the telecom secretary J.S. Deepak and other government officials. “We discussed with the telecom secretary how we plan to address the issue and the concerns of the sector,” he said, adding that the network optimisation work will be done in all 22 telecom circles in the country.
“They [telcos] sought government’s help in addressing interference issues by people like setting up of illegal mobile repeaters to boost signals,” Mathews added.