In the past few years, the number of subscribers for the mobile network has increased with an unexpected rate in India. Even big companies like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone were not ready for such drastic increase in the number of subscribers. Due to a large number of calls made per minute, the pressure started to build up on the networks and call drop became a common problem for the common man. Around 4.73 percent calls are dropped every day however TRAI has allowed only 2 percent call drop on a daily basis.
The difference between the connected calls and dropped calls got even deeper with the entry of Reliance Jio. From the day 1, the subscribers who are using Jio’s services are complaining about regular call drops, especially on other networks. Reliance is putting the blame on other telecom companies, and the telecom companies are putting the blame on Reliance by saying that the data provided by Jio about subscribers is not correct.
TRAI had to intervene last month to resolve the issue. After checking the current status, the regulatory suggested a hefty fine of Rs.3050 crore on three major telecom companies that are Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea. The time line given to those companies to reply is almost finished, and it will be interesting to see how they react to the complaint in official reply.
The meeting between parliamentary committee and related parties
The government of India has formed a special Parliamentary panel. The panel will talk with telecom companies, DoT and TRAI and will try to resolve the issue. The meeting is going to happen on 10th November 2016. The main aim of the meeting is to find the solution for the problem of call drop. BJP MP Anurag Thakur leads the parliamentary standing committee. He has called all the members of COAI and Reliance Jio separately.
According to the Lok Sabha notice, the topic of the meeting is “Issues related to the quality of services and reported call drops”. The panel will hear the point of view of the telecom companies, including Reliance Jio. After that, a meeting will take place with representatives of DoT and TRAI.
Improvement is there, but it is not sufficient
TRAI and DoT have given the 100-day plan to the telecom companies to install new towers. These towers were installed in different areas pan-India to lower down the congestion problem. All the companies have installed the targeted number of towers. However, the problem is still persistent in most of the areas.
The tussle between Reliance Jio and rest of telecom companies over interconnectivity points is just worsening the problem further. Reliance has already put all the data about call drop on its website. The company has asked TRAI and DoT to take proper action as soon as possible.
As per rules not more than 5 calls should fail out of every 1000 calls. However, the number of calls dropped is much higher when it comes to inter-network connectivity. There was also a provision of canceling the license if the company is found guilty of lack of services. But TRAI didn’t take that step by stating that this will increase the problem further.