Airtel the most congested network, finds regulator

January 7th, 2009 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) With the telephone subscriber base rising to 374.13 million in November, the congestion levels between one network to another has risen considerably with Bharti Airtel’s network emerging the most congested. Between July-September 2008, Airtel had 41 points of inter-connections (POIs) - the highest level of congestion among the various networks.

Vodafone was the second most congested network with 22 POIs, followed by Reliance Communications and Idea with 19 each, and Dishnet Wireless with 18.

To ensure seamless inter-connection, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the sector’s regulator, monitors the level of congestion at the POI between various service providers on a monthly basis.

This parameter signifies the ease with which a customer of one network is able to communicate with a customer of another network. It also reflects as to how effective is the inter-connection between two networks.

The benchmark notified by the telecom watchdog in the Quality of Service (QoS) Regulation of July 2005 for this parameter is less than 0.5 percent. This means that out of 200 calls between two operators, only one call ought to face a congestion problem.

However, a TRAI report says the performance of mobile service providers with respect to congestion on POIs improved in September as compared to June.

The number of POIs having congestion decreased from 156 in June to 129 in September, a TRAI said. Of these, September saw 129 POIs (of which 67 had more than 5 percent congestion), as compared to 86 POIs in June.

On the other hand, there were 42 POIs in September where the level of congestion was more than 10 percent, while 11 POIs registered more than 40 percent congestion.

“In respect of POIs from private CMSPs (cellular mobile service providers) to state-run telecom operators - Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), the number of POIs having congestion has decreased from 94 in June to 68 in September,” TRAI said.

In the same period, POI congestion among private CMSPs also decreased marginally, from 62 in June to 61 in September.

Bihar is the most affected telecom circle in terms of congestion, followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh-West and Himachal Pradesh, TRAI said.

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