Posts filed under ‘TRAI’
In news that will surprise nobody the auction process for 3G spectrum in India looks set to meet with further delays. The delays are likely following the revelation that the Cabinet Committee tasked with making a decision on policies formulated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has referred the proposals to the Group of Ministers (GoM). India’s Economic Times reports that the latest move in the policy merry-go-round could see the auction process delayed indefinitely. It has been argued that one of the additional benefits for passing the matter to the GoM, which is headed by AK Antony, is that they can open discussions with the defence forces regarding the vacating of 3G frequencies. The auctions had originally been due to take place on 16 January, but were subsequently pushed back to 30 January.
TRAI want DoT to bring in atleast two operators for 3G services in the CDMA space in opposition to the current situation which has only one 3G operator being offered a 3G spectrum. The DoT present policy guidelines which only offers a single 3G block for CDMA operators.
“The authority understands that it is perhaps possible to identify more than one carrier in the 800-MHz band. It is all the more imperative as there are more than two access service providers in this category of technology for competition. Therefore, the authority recommends DoT may explore more than one block in the 800-MHz band for CDMA 3G services,” said Trai in a communication to DoT.
Trai also proposed that the base price for CDMA operators should be 25% of that of the GSM players.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has begun the process to introduce mobile number portability (MNP), inviting bids from interested companies. The DoT has stated that it is looking for companies with previous experience in implementing MNP systems, and the submission deadline has been set as 6 February 2009. A list of pre-qualified bidders will be released on 16 February, with selected companies then asked to present their plans for rollout on 23 and 24 February. The winner will be announced on 5 March. The regulator has reiterated that the charge for the service will be decided by the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The TRAI had set a charge of between INR200 (USD4.07) and INR300 (USD6.10) in 2006, but it is understood that a new fee will be decided before the service is launched. The government had initially expected MNP to be introduced in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai by the end of 2008. If the new deadlines are met as planned it is expected that the service may be introduced within the first half of 2009.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) disclosed that GSM operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar have the busiest telecom networks in the country, after conducting an analysis.
This aspect was being recorded by TRAI on a monthly basis across the country. The regulator stated the congestion levels were way above the permissible limit during the quarter ended September 08 in as many as 129 places. Nevertheless, the overall congestion levels which was as high as 526 in 2006 came down to 134 places in the quarter ended June 2008.
The congestion besides causing call drops and deterioration of voice quality, also forces consumers to make repeated attempts to get through to another subscriber.
The regulator has a set a benchmark of less than 0.5% for the congestion levels indicating that out of 200 calls between two operators only one call should face congestion problem. This level is tracked by TRAI by evaluating the congestion levels at the Points of Interconnection (PoI), which are the places where mobile traffic is exchanged between the networks of different operators.
Bharti Airtel has the largest number of PoI’s having a congestion of 41 followed by Vodafone with 22. Reliance Communications and Idea has 19 each. The circles most affected due to network congestion are Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh (West) and Himachal Pradesh.