Telecom firms to invest Rs 74000 cr to address call drops issue

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Telecom firms to invest Rs 74000 cr to address call drops issue

Others such as Idea Cellular and Vodafone have also committed to increasing mobile towers in their network.

The telecom department has directed top carriers to complete installation of additional towers by March as per their commitments made last fiscal, to improve the call drop situation, and noted that Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have committed to invest a total of Rs74,000 crore in the next financial year to expand infrastructure.

"The worst affected areas seem to be Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh (East), Bihar, etc".

The telcos will meet the secretary on a monthly basis on call drops, as DoT will monitor call drops even more closely along with the telecom regulator.

Under the revised rules, to measure the 2 per cent benchmark for call drops, will see if 90 per cent of the base transceiver station (BTS) or mobile towers are working properly for 90 per cent of days.

"They raised the issue of illegal repeaters installed in networks (which) are creating interference and affecting call quality". However, the networks of operators are finding it hard to handle the large traffic leading to call drops and slow speed of data. "They are now discussing with equipment makers to handle this kind of issue", said the telecom operators.

The second issue raised by the operators pertained to use of mobile handsets without the necessary certifications. "We will look into enforcing rules more stringently", Ms Sundararajan said. The DoT will take that up.

She said that the problem, according to the operators, is comparatively more in devices not adhering to the Global Conformity Framework certificate.

In the meeting, the secretary said telecom firms have raised the issue of non-availability of sites for installing mobile towers along with some other problems. "So we have chose to ask the authorities to ensure there are no illegal repeaters because it creates interference and therefore disrupts the quality", the secretary said.

India's emerging Telecom operator, Reliance Jio has updated its Booster packs with new offerings.

Also, data usage continues to grow at 20-25 per cent every month but along with data, voice traffic is also growing two-times, which has increased the load on the networks. "They expected data to go up but nobody expected voice to go up, which is putting a lot of pressure on the networks", Sundararajan said.

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