India's telecom providers have come up with a plan to deal with the issue of "call drops", the result of fast-paced expansion coupled with inadequate infrastructure and overloaded networks, The Times of India reports.
The 100-day action plan, which consists of setting up 70,000 base transceiver stations (BTS), was presented to the government on 10 June.
In addition to boosting infrastructure, the operators have proposed to optimise the network in 22 telecom circles in the country. They have also asked for the government's help in addressing interference issues caused by people, such as illegal mobile repeaters, used as a means to improve phone reception, but they can wipe out the mobile phone network.
Gopal Vittal, Bharti Airtel's CEO for India and South Asia; Sunil Sood, Vodafone India's CEO; Himanshu Kapania, Idea Cellular's managing director; Sanjay Mashruwala, Reliance Jio's managing director among others attended the meeting as Cellular Operators' Association of India members.
Department of Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak was quoted as saying that he didn't think "someone should go to jail every time a call drops". However, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recently said he is considering empowering the telecom watchdog to impose penalties on operators for call drops and poor service quality, should it request it.
Previously, the Supreme Court had denied the penalty on call drops proposed by the telecoms watchdog, on the grounds that the move was "ultra vires, arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent". It also found the action void of data or reason.
According to a recent study by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, most telecom service providers fail to meet the call drop rate threshold of less than 2% in the national capital region (NCR).