The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) back in December 2016 to obtain direct feedback from subscribers about the Quality of Mobile Services. Under the scheme between December 2016 and March 2017, subscribers received an IVRS call from short code 1955 and were asked a few questions on the Quality of Mobile Services including the call drop problems, if any.
Since its launch, the IVRS system has made a total of 26.97 lakh calls to subscribers belonging to all Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the country, out of which around 3.56 lakh subscribers, which is about 13 percent have participated in the survey. Among the involved subscribers, 2.15 lakh, which is about 60 percent of users have reported that they are experiencing frequent call drops.
According to the feedback given by consumers, it has been noticed that the call drops were mostly indoors. DoT also says that “The feedback is shared with the TSPs to take corrective action in a time-bound manner and submit the action taken a report (ATR) to DoT Task Force every fortnight. TSPs contact each subscriber, who has reported frequent call drops, through telephonic calls and SMS in English and local languages to collect further details required for resolution of the complaint.”
Further, it adds that the remaining 87 percent customers out of the 26.97 lakh subscribers who did not participate were either not willing or did not have the problem of frequent call drops.
Since the launch of IVRS service, TSPs have settled 13,632 complaints related to call drop problem and also solved another 7975 cases, which were reported as frequent call drop problems but found to be having other issues related to data, roaming, billing, MNP, mobile device, etc.
DoT also says that the results obtained through the IVRS platform along with the response of TSPs are quite encouraging. “The call drops reported by subscribers fell from 64 percent in December 2016 to 57 percent at the end of March 2017, a drop of nearly 7 percent in three months,” it said in a press statement.
In addition, the said initiatives of the Government have facilitated TSPs to identify black spots and plan new sites/ infrastructure to improve their services. TSPs have proposed 987 new sites/boosters out of which 109 have been already installed and commissioned. Out of the 109 installed sites, Airtel has set up 11; Idea - 29, whereas Reliance Jio has established 69 sites.
The subscribers have also been facilitated by the system to send a toll-free SMS to the same short code 1955, containing the name of the location, where they are facing frequent call drops.