State-run telecom firm MTNL has been given six months to improve the quality of its services, failing which heads may roll at the company.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a review meeting of MTNL earlier this month had pulled up officials for poor network quality and slow pace of network roll-out.
“The Minister has given six months time to MTNL to improve its services and told them clearly that he will take serious action against responsible officials on failing to meet deadline,” said a ministry official.
He has shared his displeasure with senior officials over delay in installation of mobile towers, he added.
“The Minister may get efficient people in place of officials found responsible for delay,” the official said.
Nokia Networks was shortlisted in December 2013 as the lowest bidder for installing 3,526 mobile sites which include both 2G and 3G equipment for enhancing coverage in Delhi and Mumbai. Alcatel Lucent, Huawei Technologies and ZTE also qualified in technical rounds for the project which is estimated to cost about Rs 400 crore.
MTNL, however, has not even placed advance purchase order or letter of intent to selected companies.
Sources at MTNL said that the proposal is before company’s board which is yet to approve it.
The company has to install 1,080 3G mobile towers in Delhi and Mumbai as well as 800 2G mobile towers in Delhi and 566 2G mobile tower in Mumbai.
After installation of additional mobile towers, the peak download speed on MTNL’s 3G mobile network is expected to reach 21.1 megabit per second from present peak speed of 3.6 mbps.