Call tracking must be operational by May 31:Govt

New Delhi: The government and telecom service providers were heading towards a virtual deadlock on the issue of telecom companies providing facilities to meet the May 31 deadline of tracking caller locations on real-time basis.

While the service providers, represented by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Service Providers of Indian (AUSPI) opposed the move, the government showed reluctance to postpone the deadline beyond May 31 and directed the companies to strictly adhere to the time for having location-based servers in place.

The move comes in the wake of concern expressed by the Home Ministry to the Telecom Department over the non-availability of locations of mobiles phones as well as call details indicating the place from where it was made. A high-level meeting was held today in this regard. Director General of COAI Rajan Mathew said the view point of all service providers was jointly put up with AUSPI before the government in which "we have indicated that the requirements of the government were not possible".

While the government has toughened its stand of not budging beyond the deadline, the operator associations said it would press for extension as various operators were still conducting field trials. The meeting, which was chaired by Member Technology J K Roy in the DoT and officials from Telecom and Home Ministries, conveyed to operators that they should "strictly adhere" to the May 31 deadline for implementation of location-based services and seek from them the latest status report on including them in call detail records submitted to law enforcement agencies, official sources said.