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Telecos question TRAI’s test results on call drops

Telecom operators said the issue is limited to area where there are problems in installing towers.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
June 3, 2016 5:06:21 pm
call drops, trai, Vodafone, Call drop Delhi, trai, Airtel, 4G, 3G, call drops India, Coai, technology, technology news Telecom operators said the issue is limited to area where there are problems in installing towers.

Questioning regulator Trai’s drive test results showing worsening call drop situation, telecom operators said the issue is limited to area where there are problems in installing towers.

“While the area of Delhi NCR is 46,208 kilometer square,these results are limited to a route covering 600 km only. Hence the QoS results from the Drive Test are not strictly comparable with the standard QoS for Dropped Calls regularly published by TRAI for the entire service area,” COAI said in a statement.

The Cellular Operators Association of India represents telecom majors, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Aircel etc. The drive test and its results do not cover all the cell sites but only a limited amount of the telecom circle, it said.

Trai published its report on drive tests of mobile service quality and found that “all 3G networks; 2G networks of Airtel and MTNL and CDMA network of RCom have shown degradation in performance compared to previous drive test”.

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In the latest tests conducted in Delhi, state-run telecom operator MTNL failed on all network-based quality of service parameters.

However, COAI has contested the same and said, “When we look at the QoS for the whole LSA of Delhi we notice that all the operators are in compliance with the benchmark set by TRAI of 2 per cent. Given the limited coverage of these Drive Tests, the results show problems limited to the known problematic areas where the industry faces issues in obtaining cell sites.”

The industry body also called report on using radio link time out technology being used for masking dropped call as misleading but did not contest finding of Trai report that telecom operator Aircel is using it beyond the levels being used by its peers.

“It is also interesting to note that the big headlines regarding masking of call drops using the RLT ( Radio Link Timeout) parameter proved misleading as TRAI’s own published results in the Drive Tests show only one operator out of parameter,” COAI said.

As per Trai report for Delhi, Aircel and Vodafone have been using RLT beyond levels that their peers follow. RLT is one of the parameters, which decides for how long the call should be sustained if the signal quality drops below a certain threshold.

As per an official source, that some teleom operators are using it for masking call drops resulting in higher bills for telecom subscribers.

COAI said tat Trai report shows majority of the call drops happening in the four areas of Central Delhi, Dwarka & IGI Airport, Gurgaon & Manesar and Noida & Mayur Vihar.

It said that the Delhi IGI Airport has large areas of defence property and only recently Minister of Communication and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad opened up defence land for setting up of telecom infrastructure.

“Another area where call drops were seen as out of parameter is Central Delhi. Here again, this is a known problem area and the industry is involved in ongoing deliberations with NDMC for Central Delhi and with MCD for other parts of Delhi, for installation of towers,” COAI said.

The industry body also contested the measurement practices used by Trai’s vendor Phistream Consulting. It said that parameters used by TRAI for conducting the drive test vary from those adopted by the operators. “Members pointed out these anomalies to TRAI and these still remain unresolved,” COAI said.

It said that without explaining the difference between a selective drive result of called drops over known problem areas and compared to service quality benchmark set for call drops at circle level, misled the public.

“The resolution of the call drop problem in the known difficult areas is not through the imposition of penalties but a constructive partnership between the industry, DoT, Ministry of Urban Development, local municipal governments, among others, to facilitate and hasten the approvals of required cell sites,” COAI said.

It added that the telecom industry has invested over Rs 8.5 lakh crores till date. “Moreover, in order to augment coverage and capacity, the industry has put up over 2 lakh cell sites nationally in the past 15 months. Hence it would be fallacious to say that operators are not making the requisite investments in networks and infrastructure,” COAI said.

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