Three leading industry bodies have submitted a joint proposal to the government for provisioning of interoperable internet and broadband services through a common platform, entailing roll out of a million Wi-Fi hotspots by September 2019, the Lok Sabha was informed Wednesday. “Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) and Virtual Network Operators Association of India (VNOAI) have submitted a joint proposal to Department of Telecommunications for providing seamless and interoperable Internet and Broadband Services through Public Wi-Fi Hotspots,” Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
These services are proposed to be provided through a common platform to be owned and operated by them. “They have envisaged roll out of one million Wi-Fi Hotspots by September 2019 under this platform,” Sinha added.
To another question, the minister said about 1,570 complaints relating to call drop and improper network coverage have been received through the Centralised Public Grievance Redressal And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) in the Telecom Department between January 1, 2018, and December 5, 2018.
“Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has been interacting with telecom service providers (TSPs) and reviewing the progress of their action-plans for addressing call drops in their mobile networks on a continuous basis,” the Minister said listing out measures initiated by both industry and the government to monitor and address call drops on mobile networks.
In view of the sustained efforts, “significant improvement” has been seen in operators’ compliance to the regulator’s service quality benchmarks on the call-drop rate. This improvement is in spite of the rapid increase in traffic volumes and more stringent call drop rules implemented from October 1 2017, he said.
The minister noted that the number of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) installed have significantly increased from about 7.94 lakh in March 2014 to about 20.07 lakh in November 2018. “Moreover, about 9.59 lakh 2G/3G Cells have been rectified/optimised by TSPs during July’ 16 to October’ 18,” he said.