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Call-drop situation improving with operators told to shape up: Prasad

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source: timesofindia.com
source: timesofindia.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Patna: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communications and Information Technology Minister asserted on Sunday that telecom operators have been told to shape up on the issue of the growing problem of call drops and that the situation was improving.

“There is a problem about call drops, but the situation is improving,” Prasad told reporters here.

“All the telecom operators have been told to take steps to improve quality of services,” he said, adding that the department of telecommunications (DoT) had reviewed the situation on weekly basis for the past two months.

“DoT Secretary Rakesh Garg has spoken to the owners of the service providers at the highest level,” the minister said.

He said shortage of towers was the main problem for call drops and that a policy decision had been taken under which all buildings of government of India must allow installation of towers.

Under this policy, post offices too were directed to allow towers on rent at their buildings throughout the country, Prasad said.

Prasad also wrote letters to the chief ministers for installation of towers atop government buildings.

Earlier this month, Prasad, referring to telecom operators citing shutting down mobile towers due to radiation fears as well as lack of spectrum as major reasons for call drops, said the diverse complaints could not be linked together.

“The complaint against call drops and that against tower radiation cannot go together,” Prasad said answering questions at an event in Delhi organised by the Ficci-supported International Chamber of Commerce.

Telecom operators said that about 7,000 to 10,000 tower sites were locked or shut down across major urban centres and urged a national policy for installation of mobile towers.

The minister had a stern word for telecom operators on the issue of infrastructure and asked them to deliver “good services”.

“Spectrum has been given (with clearing of spectrum sharing and trading). Don’t now give the impression that you only want to collect customers and give no thought to good services,” he said.

“Operators should optimise their network, synchronise the network and also invest in the network,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Centre should incentivise private Commercial Banks for opening branches in Chhattisgarh’s tribal areas: CM

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Tribals in Madhya Pradesh (representational Image), Wikimedia

New Delhi, April 9, 2017: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Sunday said the Centre should incentivise private commercial banks for opening branches in remote tribal areas of the state.

He also stressed the need to improve the penetration of telecom services in tribal areas of the state.

The Centre can incentivise by giving permission to them to open 2-3 extra branches in A-plus cities for every branch they open in a remote tribal area, he said at the 11th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council here.

Raman Singh pointed out that in Bastar region, the coverage of banking services was a mere 10 per cent and in Surguja district it was just 15 per cent.

The Chief Minister said that since private telecom operators are not willing to expand their services in remote tribal areas, the state government should be provided assistance from Universal Service Obligation Fund to ensure this service in these areas.

He demanded resumption of central assistance for eight Naxal-affected districts of Chhattisgarh. (IANS)

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To Counter Call drop, Telcos to Install 150,000 Towers by March 2017

The feedback of the subscribers will be shared with the TSPs so that they can take corrective steps in the identified areas

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Telecommunication towers
Respite from Call Drop problems: with restoration of new towers,wikimedia commons

New Delhi, Dec 28, 2016: Trying to solve call drops, the telecom service providers have installed more than 130,000 additional base transceiver stations (BTS) across the country between June to October and plan to install more than 150,000 more BTSs till March 2017, an official statement said here on Wednesday.

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“In order to obtain direct feedback from subscribers and use that feedback to solve the problem of call drops, DoT (Department of Telecommunications) has launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) in Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Goa on December 23, 2016,” the statement said.

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The IVRS will be extended to the entire country very soon, it added.

“The platform is a channel to capture direct feedback from the consumers and this voice of the customer can be used to improve the services that are being offered to them,” Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said.

He said, initially the government will use the platform for call drops and will extend this to receive consumer feedback in other areas as well in the future.

“Subscribers will receive an IVRS call from the short code 1955. They will be asked a few questions on the subject of call drops such as: Are they facing call drops in their area or not? They can also send a toll-free SMS to the same short code 1955, containing the location of city/town/village, where they might be facing the problem of frequent call drops,” the statement said.

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The feedback of the subscribers will be shared with the TSPs so that they can take corrective steps in the identified areas, to improve the mobile network for addressing the problem of call drops, it added. (IANS)

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Delhi HC asks TRAI if compensation is the only solution for call drops

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) whether its order making it mandatory for cellular operators to compensate subscribers for call drops was the “only solution” to reduce call drops.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked if the sector regulator if it had considered all the objections raised by the telecom operators before passing the October 16 order.

The objection of the service provider does not reflect on the measures taken. Where is the application of mind? Was it the only solution?” the bench asked as it heard the plea of telecom operators for a stay on TRAI’s compensation policy for call drops, under which a rupee will be credited to the mobile users’ account for every call drop (restricted to three per day) starting January 1, 2016.

Earlier, TRAI had told the court that it will not take coercive steps against telecom companies for not complying with the call drop compensation norms till January 6.

On Thursday, the court did not pass any interim order saying if service providers begin compensating consumers for call drops as, per the new TRAI regulations, it won’t be possible to recover them if the rule was set aside in future.

Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha, appearing for TRAI, said the order was taken after consumers began getting regular call drops. He said the telecom companies have not made enough investment on technology and infrastructure which could prevent call drops.

In the first quarter of 2015, about 25,787 crore outgoing call were made, out of which in 200 crore cases of call drops were encountered by consumers. This is 0.77 percent of all call made, Narasimha told the court adding that service provider made about Rs.36,781 crore during the period.

He further clarified that call drop compensation is applicable only when it has occurred from the call originator’s network.

We treated the compensation as a nominal penalty so that they fall in line. That’s why we kept it at only three calls. But consumers are asking to be compensated for all call drops,

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the telecom operators, argued that under the Quality of Service regulations, two percent of call drops are exempted. He also said that most cases of call drops were not because of the fault of the service providers as they have been facing difficulties in setting up new towers due to opposition from various fronts.(IANS)(Picture Courtesy: www.topnews.in)