The government has said that call drops in telecom networks cannot be eradicated completely, and this is a global phenomenon.
“The dropping of calls in wireless network cannot be completely eradicated as it is a world-wide phenomenon and happens in every wireless network due to various reasons including poor radio coverage, radio interference, loading of available spectrum, change in pattern of traffic, shutdown of sites due to power failures etc,” telecom minister Manoj Sinha informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
He added that the government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) are taking all possible steps with the help of telecom operators to address the problem and bring it down within permissible limits.
Sinha said that Trai regularly undertakes the drive tests of mobile networks in select cities, highways and railway routes to assess the quality of service and coverage around the areas covered in drive test routes.
According to data shared by the minister, Trai imposed penalty of around Rs 11.8 crore on telecom operators for failing to meet minimum service quality benchmark and recovered Rs 10.42 crore out of it.
The highest penalty has been levied on Aircel for poor 2G (Rs 3 crore) and 3G service quality (Rs 1.56 crore) followed by state-run telecom firm BSNL for poor 2G (Rs 2.27 crore) and 3G (Rs 70 lakh) networks.
A fine of Rs 1.64 crore was imposed on Reliance Communications for 2G networks, Rs 89 lakh on Tata Teleservices, Rs 84 lakh on Vodafone, Rs 13.5 lakh on Telenor, Rs 3 lakh on Sistema Shyam and Rs 1.5 lakh on MTNL.
In the 3G category, the regulator imposed a Rs 2.5 lakh penalty on Vodafone for poor service quality.
Sinha said that telecom operators reported that they have already installed more than 1,20,000 additional towers across the country during the period from June 15 to September 30, 2016, and further plan to install about 1,56,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) across the country up to March 31, 2017.
“Moreover, the department is also facilitating necessary permissions in central government buildings and estate on shareable basis to roll out new sites in affected pockets,” Sinha said.
The department of posts (DoP) issued guidelines on July 21, 2016, for use of postal buildings for BTS-installations. Further, the defence department has issued the detailed policy guidelines for installation of Mobile-BTS (CoW) in Cantonment Areas, he said.