Telecom Minister Says Operators May Face Disincentives for Call Drops

Telecom Minister Says Operators May Face Disincentives for Call Drops
In the backdrop of frequent call drops faced by consumers, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said the government is exploring the possibility of bringing in disincentives for telecom operators to counter the issue.

Stating that telecom operators need to ensure that call drops are "minimised", the Minister said telcos need to strengthen their system.

"Call drops need to be minimised. They (private operators) need to reinforce their mechanism. I have directed officials in the department to work on a disincentive architecture (for the operators)," Prasad said during a press conference on completion of one year of NDA government.

The Minister added that in his role, he is responsible for ensuring that consumer interest is kept in mind.

Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg has asked the member (technology) in Department of Telecom (DoT) to work on the matter and if required, it will be sent to sectoral regulator Trai for its suggestions.

A final call could be taken in six months.

Explaining further, Garg cited the example of a telecom operator which is offering free calls in lieu of call drops.

Meanwhile, on net neutrality, Prasad said the government has received the report and it will be uploaded on DoT's website in next few days.

"We have received the report, it will put on the website in a few days and a copy has been sent to Trai. As far as the final decision is concerned, the government and Cabinet will take the final call," the Minister said.

There is a huge debate going on in the country over net neutrality, which states that no content should be given preference over the other.

The Minister said spectrum trading and sharing guidelines will be sent to Cabinet by the end of this month.

On post offices offering banking services, Prasad said he is expecting RBI approval for payment bank licence for Postal Department to come in by July-August.


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