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Falling mobile tariff spurs traffic snarls

india Updated: Feb 04, 2007 10:59 IST
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The continuous downward revision of mobile tariff has stimulated the call traffic in the UP (East) Circle, at times making it difficult for the operators to ‘regulate’ the traffic properly.

People are talking more or they are talking for longer duration, with many others waiting for the lines to be free. 

And this holds true for both urban and the rural subscribers as well as postpaid and prepaid ones. All prefer to talk more and they are not in a hurry to disconnect the phone.

True, bills no longer disturb them, thanks to the falling tariff which is said to be one of the lowest in the world.

Statistics gathered on the call pattern by the BSNL officials here show that unlike the previous year, when the average holding time (call duration) of a mobile phone was only 46 seconds per subscriber, now it was more than 70 seconds per subscriber or on an average a subscriber kept his phone busy for more than 70 seconds.

“Contrary to earlier times, now a few people generate more mili erlangs (unit of traffic measurement) which means more channel lines are kept busy by a few people,” said a senior BSNL official, adding, “A total of 97,000 mili erlangs are generated during a busy hour unlike the previous year when only 4000 erlangs were generated.”

Revenue-wise, though, more holding is good for any telecom operator because the more the people talk the more the money they cough up. No wonder then, despite the declining tariffs, the BSNL’s  revenue has gone up which is 15 per cent more this years compared to the previous year. The average revenue per subscriber was Rs 360, said an official who also claimed that in case of private operators this was Rs 310 per subscriber per month.

Revenue-wise the situation was fine, but more holding of the phones leads to congestion in the network and it is precisely this problem which the BSNL is  facing. “We will have to increase the number of channels to absorb higher traffic,” said the official.

Email Brajendra K Parashar: bkparasharlko @rediffmail.com

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