Call drops while travelling by train might now become history, as Indian Railways in collaboration with a private telecom network firm is working to strengthen mobile network along railway tracks. The project has started from North Central Railway (NCR) zone first.
As per railway officials, the project is mainly about installing a strong mobile network system for railway employees to stay connected under any given conditions. This network will also be a blessing for millions of passengers travelling in trains, who often face call drops during long journeys.
“Often while working in remote areas to repair tracks or signals, our men face network connectivity problems. Even drivers of trains who have walkie-talkies, closed user group (CUG) mobile phones and GPS systems complain about persistent network issues while driving trains at high speed,” said a senior official with the divisional signals and telecommunication engineering department. “Railways along with a private telecom firm conducted a feasibility survey for installing a strong mobile network along the tracks several weeks ago and soon these systems will be installed, starting from NCR zone first,” the official added.
Bhupinder Dhillon, public relations officer with the Agra divisional railway manager’s office said the upgraded network will also benefit the more than three crore passengers who visit or cross Agra by train. “The system is going to be installed between Palwal and Dholpur of Agra division and Dholpur to Bina of Jhansi division, covering more than 500 km,” he added.
Similarly, a mobile network system is also expected to come up along the Jammu Tawi-Howrah and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes. In October 2015, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had ordered telecom firms to pay consumers one rupee per call drop experienced on their networks, subject to a cap of Rs 3 a day from January 1.