They are attributed to poor quality of signal, software and hardware issues

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is yet to provide ‘call drop-free’ communication, subscribers say. Though the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) slaps fine on telecom firms for ‘call drops,’ BSNL subscribers continue to experience this problem.

After complaints of ‘call drop’ exerted pressure on BSNL officials here, a technical team was recently deployed to assess quality of mobile phone signal in Tuckerammalpuram, Government Engineering College area, NGO A, B and C Colony, Tirumal Nagar, Reddiyarpatti and adjoining areas. As the team found that poor quality of signal was the reason behind the ‘call drop’ and other associated issues, upgrading of software and installation of hardware were done in the transmission towers, a source said.

4G service

An official admitted that they had not been given permission for 4G service. “What our people are giving in a few places of Kanniyakumari district following pressure exerted by a few MLAs is not 4G service. It’s only an intermediate service between 3G and 4G. If this situation continues, the subscribers will get attracted by private players, who are being given NoCs by the Centre instantly,” said Soosai Maria Antony of Tirunelveli district president of BSNL Employees’ Union.

When power supply got disrupted on Saturday in the southern parts of Palayamkottai and suburbs in the wake of monthly maintenance work taken up in the Melapalayam substation, BSNL’s mobile phone communication was almost crippled with a lot of call drops and other related issues.

“I can’t even download a 4.40 MB-size 22-second video file sent by a client with the BSNL connection which showed reception of only 2G signal most of the time. When I switched over to a private operator’s data after my repeated attempts with BSNL data, I could do it in no time,” said N. Ramasubramanian, an engineer from NGO Colony.

A BSNL official said private operators could keep their transmission gadgets running with diesel generators during scheduled or unscheduled power cuts while the BSNL could not do so. “Owing to mounting arrears for purchase of diesel, the dealer has stopped diesel supply. Only a very few transmission towers were functioning on Saturday with diesel generators and hence the problem,” he revealed.

The Telecom District Manager, who joined recently after being transferred from Thoothukudi district, could not be reached for his comments.

Saji Kumar, Principal General Manager, BSNL, Nagercoil, said 3G data coverage had increased in Tirunelveli Town area by adding 4th sector of 3G data in 26 sites. “As data usage has increased during the pandemic, customers are experiencing slow speed. For 4G expansion, the process of awarding tenders was on which will take some time,” he said.

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