New Delhi : Warning telecom companies of penal action over the persisting call drops menace, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said their performance will be reviewed after 15 days and it can “cross the bridge” if situation does not improve.

While top executives of leading operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Reliance Communications were conveyed this message in a meeting called by TRAI, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said at an economic summit that the imposition of penalty can not be ruled out if the companies fail to do their part to check frequent call drops.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also rejected the operators’ argument that it was inadequacy of spectrum that was leading to call drops. “The argument that spectrum is less is no longer valid, because spectrum has suddenly not shrunk. Rather, the spectrum has increased,” TRAI Chairman RS Sharma said after meeting CEOs of telecom operators.

The issue of call drops has also attracted the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has directed government officials to take urgent steps to resolve the problem.  “I have told them that after 15 days we will have another test drive in the city of Mumbai and Delhi and we will also have data relating to other places. We will measure if there is any improvement in the situation or not,” Sharma said.

He said companies had expressed their reservations on compensating customers for call drops.  Meanwhile at the Economist India Summit here, the Telecom Minister said the government is presently not thinking of any kind of penalty imposition, but he does not “rule out the option if the situation doesn’t improve.”

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