The special audits on call drops in metro/capital cities, which Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced early last month, will be filed on August 15. The issue of call drop raised major complaints among the subscribers that eventually led to online campaigns like #NoCallDrops.
Subsequently, the Government warned the telecom operators to improve their service and asked to file a report by July 31. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) too released a report stating that only two operators – Bharti Airtel in Mumbai and Tata Teleservices in Delhi matched the prescribed criteria suggested as per the norm, of less than 2% call drops.
In TRAI’s report, telecom operators failed to meet other quality parameters including, coverage, accessibility, reliability, mobility, carrier over interference, blocked call rate, call setup rate, call setup success rate, dropped call rate and handover success rate.
For the report, telecom reporters raised two arguments – the problem of spectrum and reduction in 2G frequency available after auction. They also blamed the reduction in number of mobile towers by the local municipal authorities.
TRAI’s test was criticized for not being conducted as ‘surprise test’ and also that it ignored MTNL from the audit. Also, the lack of sufficient discussions on the penalty promised to be imposed on operators also welcomed ire. This special audit, which the Minister promised to conduct in all metros/capital cities are the last hope for a better solution for the problem.