Reliance, Bharti Airtel to spend Rs74, 000 crore to fix call drop problem

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel plan to spend Rs74,000 crore to fix the problem of call drop, that is plaguing the sector, said telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

After meeting top level officers of Sunil Mittal-owned Bharti Airtrel, Sundararajan said that the firm will invest Rs24,000 crore on infrastructure.

She added, the Sunil Mittal-led firm has already invested Rs16,000 crore to improve its infrastructure.

"Reliance Jio has said that they will invest Rs50,000 crore in installing 1 lakh towers in the coming financial year," DNA newspaper reported.

Besides, Airtel and Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular and Vodafone have also committed to increasing the number of mobile towers in their network, she informed.

Meanwhile, data shared by telecom operators with the Department of Telecom (DoT) reveals that call drops in southern states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana stand at around 30-33 per cent, while the worst affected circles include Delhi, Mumbai, UP and Bihar, she said.

"We have asked them (telecom operators) to take measures where call drops are the worst and put those on fast track," Sundararajan said.

She added that telecom operators' analysis of call drops showed that call drops have stabilised but other problems like fading of voice call have increased due to various issues, including non-compliance of some mobile phones with required certification norms.

Sundarajan has also informed the TSPs of a new "phenomenon in India" where at least 400 callers use a single mobile tower at the same time compared to countries like China where the average user number is between 200-300.

"They are now discussing with equipment makers to handle this kind of issue," she added.