The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked service providers to quickly fix call drops and improve quality.
Chaired by Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman, the meeting was attended by the three private telecom service providers (TSPs): Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
"The government has also sought policy inputs on the matter from the TSPs, asking them to identify the structural challenges in and problem areas. The issue isn't new, but the meeting was necessitated by the rising number of complaints on all drops," said a person in the know.
Officials said call drops are unacceptable at a time when the country is adopting 5G technology. TSPs have been asked to identify if call drops may increase once 5G is introduced, they said.
"The telcos have been told to keep the issue in mind, as they go about expanding their 5G networks nationwide," an official said.
TSPs have been asked to prepare for a much tighter quality of service (QoS) regime.
DoT will soon send a consultation paper to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the matter as it seeks more QoS parameters, officials said.
The much-awaited updated norms will be announced via executive orders after TRAI sends back its inputs, they said.
The TRAI Act, 1997 authorises the regulator with powers to ensure QoS, conduct periodic reviews and protect consumer interest.
TRAI last launched a consultation paper reviewing network-related QoS for cellular mobile telephone services in 2016.
The new QoS norms will aim to eliminate call drops and poor voice and data connectivity.
"At a time when massive strides are being made in bringing 5G technology to India, and with TSPs ramping up their infrastructure, it is unacceptable that a large number of complaints over quality issues continue to come in, even from major urban areas," said a senior government official.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com