Trai is considering making it mandatory for telecom operators to disclose their network problem needs to be examined in entirety.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which came out with a consultation paper on call drops today, said telcos should also disclose steps taken to optimise their networks to address the problem.
The problem of call drops has become more acute in the last 3-4 months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too last week voiced serious concerns over the menace and asked officials concerned to take urgent steps to address it.
However, GSM industry body COAI said the issue of call drops is not on account of overall capacity constraint but on account of the operators’ ability to either deploy sites in key and critical areas or shortage of spectrum.
Quoting media reports on declaration of operational capacity, COAI in a letter of Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said, “the proposed action will potentially change market structure, favour specific operators which is not appropriate.”
Further, COAI said mobile network capacity of each site and consequently, the network is planned on the basis of estimated traffic in the covered areas.
It added customer usage pattern in terms of location and time of use is not static and is dependent on time of day, day of week, mix between 2G and 3G traffic among other things.
However, sources in Department of Telecom (DoT) said it is quite strange that the industry body has not given any reason for not adopting the norm of making public their capacity circle wise, which will help consumers to make an informed decision while choosing a service provider.
“In fact such a practice is mandatory to honour government’s commitment to transparency and efficient governance,” the sources said.
They added that continuous demand for additional spectrum by telecom operators only vindicates the government’s belief that ratio of service infrastructure to consumer is unmanageable.
A recent Trai report found that most of the telecom operators in Delhi and Mumbai were not meeting the prescribed standards regarding call drops.