Telecom regulator frets that 4G may go the call drop way

  • M Rajendran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 21, 2015 22:48 IST

Tired of call drops?

Soon, you are likely to encounter another problem, this time while accessing data, and that too, even in 4G.

Telcos are luring customers with high internet speeds using exclusive infrastructure, but the government fears that companies will move to regular network once user base expands, which may result in poor service quality.

“We have found technical evidence showing that operators are loading high-end data customers on an exclusive network. The telecom regulator has been requested to monitor the network regularly,” a top official in the Telecom Commission, the policy-making arm of the communications ministry, told HT.

An official in the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells alleged that Airtel was offering 4G operations using Bharti Infratel’s towers and not through Indus towers, which carries its majority of voice and 3G data traffic.

TERM Cell is an arm of the Department of Telecom-munications, which among other activities, monitors network parameters maintained by operators.
An Airtel spokesperson refused to comment on the story.

“One cannot deny that there is competition among operators to offer better data service, since there is huge demand, especially from the youth. Those who are yet to start 4G are attempting to meet 3G speeds close to 4G,” telecom secretary Rakesh Garg told HT.

A senior TRAI official, however, said that legally operators can use networks exclusively to offer a service. “The race is to acquire high number of data customers by offering quality of speed and to achieve it, companies will use all methods,” the official said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will keep a close watch to ensure that call drop problems are not replicated in data services, especially in wake of initiatives, including the Digital India programme.

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