Suppose someone charges you a toll fee for a highway ride but takes you into a narrow lane. That’s how it feels for many customers who feel cheated after subscribing to expensive mobile broadband connections.
What they get is not high-speed videos or gaming that such connections promise, but jerky, slow stuff.The problem: telecom operators are not willing to let the industry regulator police their quality of service, despite the fact that slower broadband speeds amount to short-changing customers.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has initiated a process to formulate quality-of-service norms for mobile broadband. The regulator has suggested that a 3G subscriber should be able to get at least 90% of the data download speed of the plan he or she has subscribed to.
However, telecom operators have opposed the move. They have written to the regulator, asking it not to formulate such norms. “The data download speed depends on a number of factors including the number of subscribers in an area at a given point of time,” said Rajan S Mathews, director-general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
“The subscribed speed is a theoretical maximum speed … and should not be used for measuring quality of services parameters.”
BK Syngal, former chairman and managing director of the erstwhile Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd, said subscribers in all the cities were facing this problem due to poor infrastructure for 3G services.