Indian telecom operators are still not learning lessons as far as the call drops are concerned. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has been taking various initiatives to address the call drops problem in mobile networks. During June 2016 to February 2017, the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have installed about 2,12,917 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) across the country to solve the call drops issue.
In order to obtain direct feedback from users, DoT had launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) service, under which subscribers will receive an IVRS call from short code 1955 and an automated calling system will ask few questions to the users related to call drop problems. They can also send a toll-free SMS to the same short code 1955, containing the name of city/town/village where they face frequent call drops.
This IVRS system was initially launched in Delhi, Mumbai, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, UP, and Goa on December 23, 2016, and was soon extended to other states excluding Punjab and Manipur. The service, however, made its way to the two excluded states on March 16, 2017.
A total of 16,61,640 successful outbound calls has been made to subscribers of all TSPs across the country between 23/12/2016 till 28/02/2017. About 2,20,935 subscribers participated in the survey out of which about 1,38,072 (62.5%) customers have reported call drops.
Going by the feedback of customers, DoT reveals that the call drops problem was more severe indoor. Also, the feedback has been shared with the telecom operators on a weekly basis for taking action in a time-bound manner. Operators have set up an elaborate mechanism for using the IVRS feedback data sent by DoT.
Furthermore, they are submitting Action Taken Reports (ATR) to DoT Task Force once in every two weeks. For the fortnight 15-28 February 2017, a total of 43,403 feedback cases were taken up for investigation by TSPs. After telephonic calls and SMS to the subscribers to seek additional information on their call drop problem, 7,210 cases were identified for resolution.
During the fortnight, 2467 cases were resolved through optimisation, rectifying hardware/power problems, through field visits, etc. and on a cumulative basis, since the launch of IVRS, 9,328 cases have been resolved through this initiative.
Also, 5529 cases which were not related to call drop problem but other issues related to data, roaming, billing, MNP, mobile device, etc., were also identified by the TSPs for taking necessary action. TSPs have planned about 603 new sites/boosters for installation in due course. DoT Task Force is also meeting with the TSPs once every month to discuss various issues related to the IVRS system. Regular reviews are being held by the office of Honorable Minister about the operation of the IVRS system as well.