Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said that the call drop rate in the country has come down by 8 percent in recent times and instructed the telecom service providers to take steps that reduce it further by 8 percent.
He said, "There has been a reduction of call drops of nearly 8 percent since the last review (in July 2016) till now and we have instructed telecom service provider to reduce it further 8 percent."
Sinha held the last meeting in July 2016 where telecom operators had set 100 days and 1-year plans for improvement in call drop issue.
"Telecom operators met the target set for them. In 100 days, telecom companies installed 60,000 BTS (base stations) and 3.49 lakh BTSes were installed in one year," Sinha added.
To recall, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( TRAI) has recently increased the penalty and imposed financial disincentive in the range of Rs 1-5 lakh.
"We have proposed financial disincentive in the range of Rs 1-5 lakh. It is a graded penalty system depending on the performance of a network," Trai Chairman RS Sharma said.
Meanwhile, TRAI Secretary SK Gupta said if an operator fails to meet a call drop benchmark in consecutive quarters, the penalty amount will be increased 1.5 times and in the third consecutive month it would be doubled, subject to a cap of Rs 10 lakh on financial disincentive.
Currently, telcos need to pay Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh for call drops or if they are not meeting the norms.
At present methodology of assessment of call drop by averaging was being to evaluate the performance of the network over the entire services area, and the results were averaged every month to rate which operator has more call drops. Trai highlighted that averaging in effect hides the poorly performing cells.