After Two Years Of Pandemic, Govt Mulls Dropping Covid Pre-Call Announcement From Phones

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After two years of raising awareness about Covid-19, the government is thinking of doing away with the pre-call announcement and caller tunes set by telecom operators.

According to a report by news agency PTI, official sources said that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has written to the Union Health Ministry requesting it to drop these pre-call announcements and caller tunes that are said to be delaying critical calls during emergencies.

They also cited representations received from Cellular Operators Association of India (COA) as well as mobile subscribers.

“The health ministry is now considering removal of these audio clips in view of the improved pandemic situation in the country even as other measures for spreading public awareness about the safeguards against the viral disease will continue,” an official source, as quoted by PTI, said.

The DoT, in a letter to the Health ministry, wrote, “After the passage of around 21 months, these announcements have served the intended purpose of awareness creation amongst the citizens and serve no value now. The message being played across networks invariably results in holding up and delaying critical calls from going through during emergencies and ends in consumption of precious bandwidth resources. This overloads the Telecom Service Providers (TSP) network and creates a significant delay in call connection.”

The letter further said that the announcement also impacts the customer experience and many have approached the TSPs to deactivate these as it is a hindrance when the customers need to make urgent calls, adding that several complaints have requested through RTI to deactivate the ring back tone.

Notably, the instructions for implementation of the Covid pre-call announcements and caller tunes to Telecom Service Providers were issued by DoT following directions received from the Union Health Ministry.

The telecom service providers have been playing the pre-call announcements related to coronavirus to spread awareness among the citizens and tell them about the precautions and vaccination to be taken during the Covid pandemic.

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