Mobile call quality improves, but still in troubled zone | india | Hindustan Times
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Mobile call quality improves, but still in troubled zone

While statistics show a marked improvement in the network congestion, the TRAI is still ringing the warning bells on the Quality of Service (QoS), describing it as 'alarming.' Ruchi Hajela reports.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2008 21:34 IST
Ruchi Hajela

Still irritated by frequent call drops on your mobile phone? Your service provider is trying hard, but the umpire is not impressed.

While statistics show a marked improvement in the network congestion that often makes your call disappear into a void, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is still ringing the warning bells on the Quality of Service (QoS), describing it as “alarming.”

“There is a shortage of spectrum for all service providers in the Delhi and Mumbai circle and more investments to add capacity is required to improve the quality of service,” Nripendra Mishra, chairman, TRAI, told Hindustan Times.

According to QoS standards set by TRAI, only one out of every 200 calls should face a connectivity problem. The number of points exceeding this limit has come down since March even as operators have been expanding their networks, but far from satisfactory.

TRAI says the number of points of intersection (POI) with unacceptable quality fell to 156 in June from 275 in March. As many as 15 points had 40 per cent congestion.

POIs are junctions through which networks connect with other networks.

Network congestions are like traffic jams at junctions that block the passage of cars.

Leading service providers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications that together constitute close to 13 crore of the total mobile subscriber base are the most congested with about 56 and 22 overcrowded POIs respectively at the end of June, down from 83 and 41 in March.

“I was facing difficulty connecting to other numbers and called up the customer care of my service provider. They said it would take six days to rectify the problem,” said Amit Kumar, a Delhi-based GSM line user.

“Competition in India is not based on the quality of service but on price and operators are making sure they are not under cut,” said Mahesh Uppal, an independent telecom analyst.

“Factors like topographic changes and frequency interference do affect connectivity but our network partners are utilising the networks efficiently,” said a senior Airtel official.