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Lack of spectrum, tower radiation fears behind call drops: Prasad

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Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of India at the World Economic Forum - India Economic Summit 2014 in New Delhi, Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

New Delhi: Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, referring to telecom operators citing both shutting down mobile towers due to radiation fears, and the lack of spectrum as major reasons for call drops, on Thursday, said diverse complaints could not be linked together.

Ravi_Shankar_Prasad_At_Office“The complaint against call drops and that against tower radiation cannot go together,” Prasad said answering questions at an event here 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 spoke of “a sinister campaign” of the ill-effects of mobile tower radiation.

“There is an exhaustive World Health Organisation report on the matter that this radiation is not injurious to health. One should only think of the radiation that one is normally exposed to in doing X-rays or MRI’s,” he said.

On the other hand, 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). Now, don’t give the impression that you only want to collect customers and give no thought to good services. Operators should optimise their network, synchronise the network and also invest in the network,” he added.

(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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5,384 crore paid by Reliance Communications for spectrum policy

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Mumbai: A sum of Rs 5383.84 crores was paid by Reliance Communications on Wednesday to the government as a fee for spectrum sharing and trading in 16 circles for the 800-850 MHz band. This payment comes after the announcement of a pact with Jio for nine service areas.

This also follows a statement by the company a week ago that while it heard from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarding its plans for sharing and trading in scarce airwaves in the 800-850 MHz space, it was awaiting the response in four other circles.

The company statement said it has already been granted a stay by the Kolkata High Court not to furnish any bank guarantee towards one-time spectrum charge, as had been demanded earlier by the government.

Sources said Reliance Communications wanted to pursue spectrum trading in nine circles with Jio and sharing it with Jio in 17 circles.

“Sharing will eventually cover all 22 circles in the 800 MHz band. But we want some clarity in Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir,” a source said.

Reliance Communications has a presence in all the 22 circles in the 800 MHz space, with a total of 113.75 MHz, out of which 33.75 MHz has been earmarked for Jio. This will leave the company with 80 MHz, with an option to share the same under various agreements.

Reliance Communications had announced on Monday that it has signed an agreement for trading and sharing of scarce airwaves, or radio frequency spectrum, with Jio in the 800 MHz band, covering virtually the entire country. A roaming agreement, it had added, was also on cards.

Two other developments will have a bearing on the spectrum plans of Reliance Communications to buy rival Aircel from Malaysia’s Maxis Communications and Sindya Securities, and another to merge with itself Russia’s Indian telecom arm Sistema that operates under the “MTS” brand.

However,  if these two deals happen, RCom-Aircel-MTS wireless combine will have over 150 million customers in India and hold close to 20 percent of the total spectrum highest in the country in virtually every band currently available to private players and every circle. (IANS)(image:en.wikipedia.org)