29,000 new mobile towers installed to check call drops: Prasad

Telcos cannot sacrifice voice for lucrative data services: Ravi Shankar PrasadA total of 29,000 new telecom towers were installed by private telecom operators across the country after government took strong exception to the problem of call drops, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.


Following a directive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Telecom Ministry told the private telecom operators that strong action will be taken if the problem of call drops is not resolved, he told the Lok Sabha.


“After our clear instruction, private telecom operators have installed 29,000 new mobile towers in the country while 2,200 of them were installed in Delhi.


“While public sector BSNL has installed 4,500 mobile towers in the country, MTNL installed 28 towers in Delhi,” Prasad said during Question Hour.


Prasad said the government is constantly monitoring the the call drops situation and regularly telling the telecom operators to take corrective steps to improve it.


“Department of Telecom and Trai are jointly working to improve the situation. There are shortcomings. I have been telling the telecom operators that you have to take steps. They are doing. We are constantly monitoring,” he said.


The Minister said under Section 29 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Act, the Trai has been given powers to impose penalty for contravention of its directions, which stipulates that violation of Trai directions will be punishable with fine which may extend Rs one lakh.


For the second offence, it increases to Rs two lakh and in case of continuing contravention, the additional fine may extend to Rs 2 lakh for every day during which the default continues, he said.