In­dus­try sees no im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion to call-drops

The Hindu Business Line - - IT & TELECOM - RA­JESH KURUP

Con­sol­i­da­tion of net­work in tele­com in­dus­try and power out­ages have im­pacted the qual­ity of calls. Call-drop has reared its ugly head once again. But the in­dus­try sees no im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion, and ex­pects the medi­ocre qual­ity of voice calls to con­tinue at least for an­other six months.

Ex­plain­ing the qual­ity, Ti­lak Raj Dua, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Tower and In­fras­truc­ture Providers As­so­ci­a­tion (TAIPA), told Busi­nessLine,“There are var­i­ous rea­sons such as lo­ca­tional re­stric­tions, mul­ti­plic­ity of poli­cies, shut­ting down or seal­ing and de­mo­li­tion of op­er­a­tional sites and al­leged fear of Elec­tro Mag­netic Fre­quency (EMF) emis­sions. Fur­ther, ex­or­bi­tant charges and ret­ro­spec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of tower in­stal­la­tion poli­cies within a State are all lead­ing to call drops, net­work out­ages and con­nec­tiv­ity gaps.”

“Right of Way rules, Novem­ber 2016, is crit­i­cal for the pro­vi­sion­ing of ground tele­com in­fras­truc­ture, how­ever, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rules at the

State-level still re­mains com­pli­cated si­t­u­a­tion. This is de­spite the Depart­ment of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions writ­ing to the

State au­thor­i­ties to align their poli­cies with the said rules,” he added.

At present, about 10 States have aligned their poli­cies with the RoW rules. Due to the con­sol­i­da­tion, while it has an in­terim im­pact on ten­an­cies, mo­bile tow­ers are not ly­ing idle as they are shared. Even if one ex­its, it will still have many other ten­ants.

The in­dus­try has de­ployed 4.82 lakh tow­ers hous­ing 19-lakh BTSs, which sig­ni­fies the im­por­tance of the shar­ing model. As per an ear­lier in­dus­try re­port, the tower sec­tor is ex­pected to grow at 3-5 per cent per an­num. How­ever, with the ad­vent of the tech­nolo­gies such as 5G, IoT, M2M, AI and VR the growth is slated to be much higher.

Am­resh Nan­dan, Re­search Vice-Pres­i­dent at Gart­ner said, “rea­sons in­clude the con­sol­i­da­tion in the in­dus­try and the sub­se­quent ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion of net­works, and op­er­a­tors mov­ing over to VoLTE, while the net­work is not ready to sup­port it. The sig­nal strength and cov­er­age on 4G net­works is patchy across var­i­ous parts of the coun­try, and the han­dover from one tech­nol­ogy to an­other (calls switch­ing from 3G and 4G) is not as seam­less as it should be.” .

“In my opin­ion it would take a good six months be­fore these is­sues could be sorted out,” he added.

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