BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 8: The Assam government has directed telecom companies operating in the region to improve their services.
Principal secretary (Home and Political) MGVK Bhanu on Friday summoned the heads of telecom operators and sought to know from them why their services were not at par with the rest of the country and in keeping with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) guidelines.
Sources said the telecom operators cited security problems at certain stretches of the State in which they were uble to erect towers.
They even alleged that in Guwahati, a tussle between the GMDA and GMC has posed hurdles in setting up of towers.
Sources said only about 50 towers in the city have proper permission. Others were erected after merely applying for permission. The operators also cited bureaucratic hurdles in setting up towers in tea garden areas.
Bhanu assured the telecom operators that he will look into the problems, including the security related issues.
Interestingly, the telecom operators assured to improve the network at Koidhora hill – where the official residence of the Chief Minister is located – by installing special instruments.
The operators were told that the area in and around the Chief Minister’s residence experiences poor connectivity problems. This was because the area lies on the inter–state border. While the Assam side is covered by Assam Telecom Circle, the Meghalaya side is under the Northeast Circle. The area does not get adequate network from either side.
The move by the Assam government came after a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said most of the mobile services in the State are not keeping up to the guidelines and benchmarks set by the regulatory body.
According to TRAI’s Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators for June–September 2014 released recently, the operators failed to keep up to the network parameters – network availability, connection establishment and connection maintence.
The number of mobile subscribers in Assam rose from 15.75 million in June, 2014 to 16.09 million in September, 2014, an increase of 2.15 per cent in a quarter.