Don’t blame telecoms for call drops, says Assocham

Industry body Assocham says the government should not blame the telecom operators for call drops.

Instead, Assocham wants more spectrum and reforms related to spectrum.

The statement from Assocham came in the wake of DoT (Department of Telecommunications) asking Indian telecoms such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, etc. to furnish a report by 31 July on the steps taken for improving on call drops.

But telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is in fact waiting for action from telecoms to solve the call drop issues.

“We request the government to carry through the Spectrum Reform processes and make available more Spectrum to operators as well as permit Spectrum sharing, Spectrum trading and a more liberal M & A. All these and the latest initiative for tower installation will give a big boost to Digital India and enable customers to have top class mobile services with minimum call drops,” said TV Ramachandran, chairman of Assocham Telecom Council.
Smartphone users at a telecom event
Assocham said there is tremendous inadequacy of spectrum allotted per mobile operator. The total spectrum released for mobile services in India only about half of what generally prevails elsewhere. The amount of spectrum allotted is only one third or one fourth of what available in other regimes.

But Assocham does not want the telecom ministry to offer spectrum at unaffordable prices. India has around 900 million mobile connections.

Due to concerns regarding the EMF exposure, the industry is not being allowed to set up cell sites and towers at the right places. Some municipalities and civic administrations do not cooperate to give the necessary permissions for tower installations.

According to TRAI data, at least 523 sites in Delhi and 801 sites in Mumbai were shut down in the past six months due to alleged radiation scares or issues with municipalities. As many as 25 towers are shut down each week in Mumbai. Shutting down one tower would affect the 700 or more subscribers attached to the tower and impact the performance of at least half a dozen towers adjoining the sealed tower.

Baburajan K
[email protected]