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The Lok Sabha on Wednesday starred question regarding the current call drop problem in India. The Minister of Communication & Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the government is looking into the severity of the call dropping problem, “whether the problem of call drop is unprecedented across the country."

Additionally, it will look into the steps proposed to be taken by the government to address the call dropping problem in near future, also noting “whether the Government proposes to cancel the licenses of the telecom companies in case of their failure in resolving the said problem?"

It has been notified that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been monitoring the performance of Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) for the License Service Area (LSA) as a whole, through Quarterly Performance Monitoring Reports (PMRs) submitted by them against the benchmarks for various Quality of Service parameters laid down by TRAI. TSPs in India are required to ensure that the call drop rate in their mobile networks remains within the benchmarks laid down by TRAI.

TRAI has issued “The Standards of Quality of Service of Basic Telephone Service (Wireline) and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2017" which has been effective since October 1, 2017. 

As per the official release, “these Regulations have prescribed two revised stringent parameters for assessing call drop in mobile network, viz. Drop Call Rate (DCR) Spatial Distribution measure (benchmark = 2%) implies that at least 90% of cells in the network should perform better than specified 2% benchmark on at least 90% of days. Similarly, another new parameter, DCR Temporal Distribution measure (benchmark = 3%) will give confidence that on at least 90% of days, network performed better than specified 3% benchmark for at least 97% of the cells."

The policy initiatives to deal with the call drop problem:

- The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has taken several policy initiatives to facilitate infrastructure growth for delivery of quality services. These include permitting trading, sharing, liberalisation of spectrum, permitting passive and active infrastructure sharing, making government land/buildings available for installations of towers, etc. 

- The Minister shared that “around 16.82 lakh additional Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) for 2G/3G/4G-LTE services have been added by TSPs during the period from March 2014 to March 2022 across the country."

- In order to obtain direct feedback from subscribers on call drop, DoT has launched an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) wherein around 5.67 crore subscribers have been individually contacted since December 2016. Out of these, 73.61 lakh subscribers have participated in the survey. 

- The feedback is shared with the TSPs for taking corrective actions in a time bound manner. As a result, about 1.73 lakh individual cases of call drops have been resolved so far and around 7,956 BTSs have been installed by the TSPs specifically to resolve the call drop issues received through IVRS.

 

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