Telecom operators have deployed 65,000 mobile sites to curb call drops in the last six months, Parliament was informed today. “During the last six months, around 20,000 sites have been added for 2G services across India. Similarly around 45,000 sites have been added for 3G services,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. He was responding to a question on the status of call drops and steps taken by the government to deal with it. Also Read - Government to offer free movies to new internet users in remote areas: Report
He said Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been conducting service quality audits of mobile networks on a regular basis since July and it has published results of most recent survey on February 4. The regulator conducted drive tests during December- January on selected route of seven cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Bhubaneswar and Indore — and shared the findings with telecom operators. Also Read - Indian government considering monitoring internet through a centralized system
As per the TRAI report, most of the telecom operators, including state-run MTNL, failed drive tests conducted by it to check quality of their network and services as part of its efforts to rein in call drop menace. The TRAI report said none of telecom operators showed improvement in call drops in Mumbai, Pune and Bhubaneswar. Prasad mentioned that TRAI has come out with regulation mandating telecom operators to compensate consumers Re 1 for every call drop with maximum of 3 call drops a day.
“While certain financial penalties have also been imposed by TRAI on the defaulting service providers, the case to provider compensation to each subscriber is currently sub judice at High Court of Delhi. The judgement on the matter is reserved,” Prasad said.
He said the government has continued to facilitate the availability of government land and buildings for further installations of mobile sites by the telecom operators and has been creating awareness to dispel the potential fear due to EMF radiations on human health.