The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that GSM telecom operators have set up about 1,29,101 base stations in four months, exceeding the target set by double the number. It added that Indian GSM telcos will continue to make necessary investment to ensure instances of dropped calls are minimized and to improve quality of service.
The COAI statement came after CEOs of telecom companies met the Communications Minister to apprise him of the progress of the 100-day plan and to discuss the road-map for the future of telecommunications network in the country.
In June this year, Indian GSM telecom operators had presented the Communications Minister a 100-day plan in which they had committed to an investment of Rs 12,000 crore for installing 60,000 BTS in the country to address the issue of call drops that was causing inconvenience to consumers.
The total BTS in the country stood at 13,45,470 with a cumulative investment of Rs 8,50,00 crore, COAI said.
“Most operators have executed the 100-day plan that was submitted to the Communications Minister Shri Manoj Sinha in June, and the results are evident in the decreased numbers of call drops in the country,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said in a statement.
He said that the industry will continue to invest more and augment its current outlay to ensure that people are given the best quality of service, particularly for those areas where connectivity is still a challenge.
COAI said that telcos are also working closely with all concerned authorities to ensure processes are expedited so that towers can be installed at locations where there is a need.
“We continue to need the government’s assistance for obtaining sites in the government buildings and locations. The problem persists in areas like Lutyens’ Delhi and parts of South Delhi, where telecom operators are working with the municipal authorities to set up more towers so people can experience seamless connectivity in these places without having to worry about bad pockets,” Mathews said.
COAI also urged the government to intervene in locating cell sites on Government buildings and land, Postal Department Facilities and defence properties, as access to these sites still eludes the industry.
“It is this type of constructive partnership that will ultimately address the network issue of call drops faced by the industry and the citizens,” he added.
COAI said that greater sensitization of the MCD and NDMC is still the need of the hour as MCD continues to shut down sites and NDMC is yet to release them to the industry. Out of 115 sites applied, no sites have materialized, it said.