PM Asks Officials to Address Call Drop Problem Urgently

Reviewing the progress of digital infrastructure, rural infrastructure and connectivity sectors, he also pushed for ensuring the implementation of a proposal to electrify all villages.

Published: 25th August 2015 05:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2015 05:40 PM   |  A+A-


Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI/File)


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced serious concern over call drops and directed officials to resolve the problem urgently besides ensuring that it does not extend to data connectivity.

Reviewing the progress of digital infrastructure, rural infrastructure and connectivity sectors, he also pushed for ensuring the implementation of a proposal to electrify all villages of the country within 1000 days, an announcement he made in his Independence Day address earlier this month.

While reviewing the status of mobile connectivity in the country, Modi expressed serious concern over the issue of call drops, which he observed, directly affects the common man, a PMO statement said about the meeting held last evening.

He asked officials as to what was being done to address this problem and directed them that steps be taken urgently to resolve the problem, it said. The Prime Minister also asked the officials to ensure that the problems in voice connectivity do not extend to data connectivity in the future, the statement said.

Officials were directed to explore the possibility of leveraging existing resources, including railway and other communication infrastructure, to provide mobile connectivity in remote, unconnected areas.

Modi emphasized that the targets for digital infrastructure should be synchronized with those for the 'Digital India' initiative, the PMO said. He also sought details from officials on preparations for providing electricity to all unconnected villages in the country within 1000 days, as mentioned in his Independence Day address.

The departments concerned were directed to monitor progress towards this goal on a real-time basis, the PMO said. The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of solar energy related projects, especially with regard to railway stations and airports.

He directed speeding up of work related to setting up of Railway Universities. He also pushed for according priority to road links with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister said with enough funds now being provided for infrastructure creation, the onus is on the ministries concerned to ensure that these outlays are converted into proportionate outcomes. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman NITI Aayog, as also senior officials from PMO, NITI Aayog and ministries concerned attended the meeting.

Optimise Networks to Curb Call Drops: Prasad to Telcos

NEW DELHI: To curb the menace of call drops, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today asked mobile operators to optimise their networks, even as he promised full support on policy front including on installation of towers.

"...whatever is necessary for policy, we will do, like installation of mobile towers on government buildings, speaking against radiation fears. So, what is required from the government, we will do.

"I expect operators should also do what is required to reinforce their system, optimise their networks," Prasad told reporters here at a conference of South Asian Telecom Regulation Council at Greater Noida near here.

The problem of frequent call drops has worsened in the recent months. At a meeting last evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also voiced concern over call drops and directed the officials to resolve the problem urgently.

Telecom operators have cited shutting down of mobile towers and radiation fears, as also lack of spectrum, as the major reasons for call drops.

The operators have said that about 7,000-10,000 sites have been locked or shut down across major cities and have sought a uniform national policy for installation of mobile towers.

Speaking at the same event, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R S Sharma said a consultation paper on call drops will be issued in a fortnight wherein all stakeholders can give their comments.

Regarding a disincentive mechanism for call drops, Sharma said the regulator is looking at it and TRAI is also examining various tariff plans of the telecom operators.

Government had asked TRAI to suggest disincentives for call drops and also examine the tariff plans of operators to ascertain whether they were incentivising call drops.

The industry has refuted the charge of deliberately promoting call drops. A recent TRAI report found that most of the telecom operators in Delhi and Mumbai were not meeting the prescribed standards regarding call drops.

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