Government pings telcos as dropped calls and outages surge in 5G shift, Telecom News, ET Telecom | Jobs Reply


New Delhi: Consumer complaints about dropped calls and dropped calls are mounting, with areas undergoing a transition from 4G to 5G taking a particular focus, prompting the government to urge mobile operators to improve service quality.

“Telecom operators need to improve the quality of services as the current situation is not ideal,” said a senior Department of Telecommunications (DoT) official. “We have also written to Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) on this matter and will see how the issue can be resolved.”

Quality of Service (QoS) is the mandate of the sectoral regulator, the official stressed, adding that even legacy 4G networks are an issue.

However, industry leaders said this is a temporary phenomenon and services will be better once all handsets with 5G software updates are synced to the next-generation networks, which are also being rolled out in more locations.

Market leader Reliance Jio and runner-up Bharti Airtel have started rolling out 5G networks in urban areas and are expected to cover most of the country in 18 to 24 months. Vodafone Idea currently only offers 4G services and has not yet started rolling out the 5G network.

Inquiries to Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea regarding their QoS remained unanswered at the time of going to press.

Government pings telcos as calls drop and outages surge in 5G shift
The DoT official quoted above said the government has done its part by providing the needed support and now operators should do their part.

Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said telecom companies continue to invest in improving the network experience for over a billion mobile users across the country. “Now that 5G is rolling out across the country, fiberization of networks is becoming a critical necessity. Currently, only about 35% of towers in the country are fiber reinforced, and this needs to be doubled to support efficient network operations and quality service delivery,” said SP Kochhar, director general of COAI, in a statement to ET.

He added that telecom networks comply with Trai-mandated QoS standards, but there are some challenges that need to be overcome. “Several issues such as unavailability of locations in desired locations, government facilities and public places; exorbitant levies on infrastructure creation by certain public bodies; The rampant use of unauthorized signal boosters, etc. poses enormous challenges to effective infrastructure development and must be addressed urgently,” Kochhar said.

However, in their contributions, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) said it is still too early to even predict whether AI and BD can increase internal efficiencies and lead to the optimization of telecom networks, as both technologies are still in their early stages.

For its part, the sector regulator has been working to address the issue of QoS, officials aware of the matter said. Trai officials have met with network vendors and operators to design a mechanism to assess end-to-end network quality.

Currently, QoS standards apply down to the site level, but not on cloud servers, etc., officials said.

It often happens that a call (regular voice call or OTT call) drops due to low bandwidth from server to base station. There’s also a problem with dropped calls inside buildings, they said.

Trai takes a holistic view of the issue and will shortly be releasing a set of recommendations to improve QoS.

Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a recent interview with ET: “Service quality needs to be further improved and operators need to buckle up. We’ve removed the bottlenecks related to contiguous spectrum, right-of-way issues, etc. Now operators need to close the gaps in coverage by installing more towers.”



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