Mobile call drops: More infra needed; govt will ensure quality service, assures Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan

Mumbai: Stressing the importance of providing quality mobile network services to the rapidly expanding subscriber base, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan on Thursday said the country needs much more infrastructure by way of more towers and fiberisation.

"In a country where data is growing at 500 percent, we need much more infrastructure. You need at least double the number of towers, at least double the size of fibre. Otherwise, where will the quality come from? So, they (operators) are working on that," Sundararajan said.

She was talking on the sidelines of the second 5G India conference organised by the Department of Telecom. "We are driving down hard on the service quality areas. We are beginning to see visible changes as a result of it. But it is not enough," she added.

Earlier, Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha also said that the government will "ensure quality service" for the telecom subscribers. "The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has issued standards recently. The government will ensure that quality service is given to the consumers," he told reporters. His remarks came amid concerns on falling service quality of mobile operators resulting in inconveniences like call drops. However, a query on penalising erring operators did not elicit a direct reply. "We will ensure there is good service quality," the minister said, when asked about penalty.

Representational image.

Representational image.

There have been multiple reports on call drops faced by the country's nearly 1-billion mobile users and falling quality standards and the sector watchdog has also been seeking to improve the quality. Asked about reports of the government mulling another round of spectrum auctions, he said the ministry is waiting for recommendations from Trai. When asked if the government is in favour of IUC for messages, Sinha said it is the mandate of Trai and the watchdog is "considering" it.

Speaking at the conference, Special Secretary N Sivasailam said the country is on the "right track" for rolling out the next generation 5G services, adding that an ecosystem will have to be built for the roll-out.

Reliance Jio managing director Sanjay Mashruwala, however, pointed out that the country is far from rolling out the 5G services due to the lack of supporting pieces in the ecosystem.

Sivasailam said the government is planning to announce the new telecom policy next month after receiving suggestions on the recently issued draft.

(Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd)

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Updated Date: May 18, 2018 08:35:47 IST

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