New Delhi: Recently PM Modi wanted to review party’s preparation for upcoming Bihar assembly polls. As this was planned with a short notice, PMO secretary had to work overtime to reach everyone as most of the calls were not either getting connected or before the message could be conveyed, calls were getting dropped.
Thanks to relatively better and more reliable data network, PMO secretary used WhatsApp to reach some of the techno savvy ministers and for some whose mobile is turned off round the clock, he had to go to television studios to spot them and convey the message.
During his meeting with PM, PMO Secretary highlighted how call drops have become a serious threat for this government apart from Hardik Patel and onion price hike.
On the state of data services PMO Secretary said, “Our data network is still quite reliable as right now many cannot afford it. As per our research, we do not anticipate there would be much problem in next 5 years for data services like uploading selfies, posting tweets or comments on social networking sites.”
When PM expressed his surprise how come he has not experienced any such problem personally? PMO officials politely conveyed, “Sir, as you are travelling a lot, you have not got enough opportunity to use India’s telecom network. Another point is most of us in PMO use BSNL network which is not used by many in metropolis like New Delhi. People are afraid to use BSNL as it takes lot of effort to get the sim-card and after that if any problem comes, there is no one to help them. As call density is too low, limited number of people are left with BSNL sim cards, so we do not see that many call drops.”
Without wasting a minute, PM called heads of the telecom companies and told them to do whatever is needed. During the meeting, few suggestions came to discourage people using only mobile calls.
Also, some suggested that government should help entrepreneurs to re-open the STD booths, give subsidy to lower cost of landline calls, keep post offices open round the clock, restart telegram service, and basically do whatever is needed to counter this serious threat.
Telecom companies also were of the opinion that it will be better to prioritize the calls where call drops can have devastating impact and they have to brainstorm to come up with a mechanism to identify such calls.
After initial round of discussion some of the calls which were proposed to be upgraded to priority call level were, husband calling his wife during grocery shopping or wife calling husband to update on the neighborhood happenings. Any call between boyfriend and girlfriend will always remain under priority calls category.
During all these discussion one of the senior executive sitting there was busy attending his first round of job interview through Facebook chat. After he cleared the first round, the US based MNC wanted a tele-conference as part of second round interview to take it forward.
Afraid of call drops, the executive booked one evening flight ticket to Kathmandu so that he can attend the call peacefully without any anxiety next day.