Regretting the problem of call drops in India, British telecom giant Vodafone Wednesday said the issue is related to operational conditions in the country on which the government is working “positively”.
“I am really sorry about the fact that there are (call) drops in India at the level where we would not like them to be. It’s linked to amount of spectrum that we have, it’s linked to the ease of getting permits, right of ways. We are working positively with DoT,” Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao told reporters here.
He emphasised that the problem is not related to investments as Vodafone is committed to investing but there are operational issues like permissions to install mobile towers.
“It is not a problem of money, but problem of operating conditions. If we have more spectrum, then we also need to build many more sites. It’s vicious cycle – more sites, more issues, more bureaucratic administrative problems, more drops.
If you can break this, I think India will get the same service as the rest,” Colao said. Vodafone, he said, remains the biggest investor in the country and will continue its capital expenditure to the tune of Rs. 8,000-8,500 crores annually in the country.
“Thanks to competition, the price of technology is coming down every year. So, physically, more things are going on the ground at same investments,” Colao said.
He termed India as one of the five big pillars of Vodafone in the world.
Vodafone is also working with the government for Digital India and financial inclusion programmes. “I was in Gujarat around January-February when the Prime Minister elaborated his vision for Digital India… I would say it is a good start,” Colao said.
He saw spectrum sharing and trading as a positive that will help telecom operators in providing efficient services. Asked on Vodafone’s stand on Net neutrality, Colao said there should be no discrimination in rules among same kind of service albeit telecom operators should be allowed to segment Internet services.
“Net Neutrality should be about non-discrimination. I should not discriminate among same type of services… but segmentation should be allowed,” Colao said.