Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Tuesday said that quality of service (QoS) levels for all operators in Goa is in conformity with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)-mandated benchmark. “These measures have resulted in a substantial decrease in instances of dropped calls in almost all key areas in Goa under supervision of Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and TRAI, along with government’s support,” Rajan S Mathews Director General COAI told reporters here. The industry body said operators have been working in service delivery, including unavailability of requisite and adequate tower infrastructure. “More than 1,200 cell sites (cell tower) need to be added to the current total of 3,500 cell sites to facilitate efficient network quality and better connectivity for residents and as well as for tourists in Goa,” he said. The industry was doing everything possible to ensure the best possible service delivery to customers, Mathews said, adding operators acknowledge there are areas, especially in dense urban areas where drops and quality could be a problem. Mathews highlighted several factors that are creating network problems in specific areas, which relate principally to availability of cell sites. “More than half of the cell sites are either non- operational or have been shut down due to unfounded concerns about Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF) or delays in obtaining timely clearance from local authorities,” he said. Despite such challenges, the industry continues to undertake several measures in order to address network quality issues. “Telecom operators have been working towards improving network coverage and capacity enhancement through expediting capital investment, network optimisation, expansion and roll-out of 3G networks to offload traffic from 2G network, additional sites coming online etc,” he said. The telecom industry has stressed on the importance of support received from each state government, including Goa. “Industry seeks partnership opportunities with state governments in order to understand major challenges facing them. It is also aiming at implementing the DoT’s guidelines on tower infrastructure and EMF to ensure residents’ safety. These guidelines were framed by the DoT keeping in mind all regional concerns of tower installation and after a consultation process with State authorities,” he said. The guidelines cover aspects like payment of a pre- determined administrative fee which covers all administrative expenses, timely single-window clearance options for the approval of applications, ensuring availability of adequate resources like water and electricity supply, which are needed to structure the effective and developed mobile infrastructure.
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