31 Jan 2018 13:13 IST

Airtel, RJio commit to invest ₹74,000 crore on infrastructure

Will add towers to curb call drops, says DoT Secretary

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have committed to invest ₹74,000 crore by the next fiscal year to upgrade and expand their infrastructure and address the issue of call drops.

“Bharti Airtel said that it has invested ₹16,000 crore on infrastructure and will be spending another ₹24,000 crore. Reliance Jio has said it will invest ₹50,000 crore in installing one lakh towers in the coming fiscal year, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecom (DoT), told reporters here after a meeting with the operators.

Idea Cellular and Vodafone India have also committed to increasing mobile towers, she said after meeting senior officials from all the operators.

“We have asked them to take special measures to install mobile towers. All the telcos have said that call drops per se have been more or less stable and there has been a distinct improvement post December,” said Sundararajan.

She said the operators told her that significant investments have already been made and infrastructure added. Having said that, the telcos had also raised issues such as non-availability of sites for mobile towers, among other problems, she said.

During the meeting, she said the telcos presented their analysis of call drops, which showed that they had stabilised but problems such as fading of voice calls have increased due to various issues, including some mobile phones not complying with certification norms.

They also raised the issue of illegal repeaters being installed in networks, creating interference and affecting call quality, to which Sundararajan said the vigilance arm of the DoT would look into issues of non-compliance.