Telecom tower
A communications tower in New Delhi.Reuters

Government-owned TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is conducting tests in seven cities across India to assess the call drop rates.

The tests, which are being carried out in Delhi, Mumbai, Surat, Kolkata, Pune, Bhubaneswar and Indore since 21 December, will conclude on 8 January, reported PTI.

This is not the first time TRAI is conducting such test drives. They did some independent tests in Delhi and Mumbai in June and July last year and found network support to be sub-par.

The agency followed up with another test drive in these metros to check whether there was any progress in quality of service. But again, the results revealed no improvements.

This apparently forced the agency to form a panel and chalk out plans to penalise telecom firms for failing to improve the call drop rate.

In October, TRAI came out with a draft detailing that network carriers will have to shell out Re. 1 for each call drop to consumers after permissible three call drops a day, starting from 1 January, 2016. Many major firms such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance and others filed an affidavit challenging this TRAI directive in Delhi High Court.

On Thursday, 7 January, TRAI in its reply, said the network firms -- despite registering more subscribers -- failed to improve the infrastructure.

Also read: Indian mobile subscriber base breaches 1 billion mark: TRAI

Last month, Union Telecommunication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that close to 29,000 signal towers were set up across India after telecom companies were instructed to improve the network connectivity service.

Also read: Global mobile internet user-base to breach 2 billion in 2016: IDC

With TRAI tests set to conclude on 8 January, we will soon get to know whether there is any headway.

Also read: All mobile phones in India to feature SOS button from March 2016: Govt