India’s telecom regulator said that fibre-based wireline connectivity would drastically help in improving telecom operators’ service quality, given the limitations of the wireless medium.
RS Sharma, chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), said “It is difficult to ensure service quality in wireless medium that has its own limitations related to bandwidth quality and upload and download issues. India should come on the fixed-line broadband infrastructure”.
US-based Ookla, a broadband network testing firm, in a recent Speedtest Global Index, ranked India 67th for fixed broadband speed with 20.72 megabit per second (mbps), below the average download speed of 42.71 mbps worldwide.
Sharma, though, said Trai has well-designed processes and practices to ensure Quality of Service (QoS) but will refrain from naming and shaming telcos for not meeting benchmarks.
“We ask for explanations, issue showcause notices and levy financial disincentives — a process that we have already been carrying out,” the top official said.
With increasing instances of call drops and slow internet connectivity, the sector watchdog is pushing for increasing fibre connectivity. Industry statistics also reveal that the fixed line subscriber base has declined 0.38% from 22.27 million in July 2018 to 22.19 million in August 2018, with 1.18 billion mobile connections currently transporting 97% of data wirelessly.