Why TRAI wants to fix data speed of wireless broadband operators

4G users want HD voiceTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued consultation paper on data speed for wireless broadband plans of mobile operators.

TRAI said India has 217.95 million mobile Internet users.

Unhappy data users  

The surge in the number of broadband connections in the country has been accompanied by increasing reports of consumer dissatisfaction with the speed of data being provided to them under wireless broadband plans.

TRAI says the widespread imposition of download limits or caps expressed in Megabytes or Gigabytes does not give consumers a clear understanding of how much content they can actually download.

ALSO READ: TRAI Consultation Paper on Data Speed Under Wireless Broadband Plans

Crowd-sourced data from TRAI’s mySpeed portal, which is not working today, shows that a few 3G subscribers throughout the country receive a download speed of less than 1 Mbps. Moreover, these below 1 Mbps data speeds can go as low as 10 Kbps for some 3G subscribers.

Top operators are fighting for supremacy in the wireless data space by advertising on data speed. Telecoms such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular want to dominate the Indian wireless broadband market.

The use of misleading advertisements by service providers further compounds these problems. Use of terms like ‘up to’ for data speeds has become a common occurrence although the theoretical speeds are rarely delivered.

Internet speed in India

Meanwhile, Akamai Technologies today said India has been ranked 89 globally with an average Internet connection speed (IPv4) of 6.5 Mbps, marking an 87 percent change in Q1 2017.  India has witnessed a 4Mbps broadband adoption of 42 percent in Q1 2017 with a change of 81 percent.

Global average Internet connection speed was 7.2 Mbps (+15 percent year over year). Average peak connection speed increased 28 percent to 44.6 Mbps in the first quarter. South Korea has the highest average Internet connection speed globally at 28.6 Mbps. Singapore has the highest peak connection speed of 184.5 Mbps.

According to a GSMA report titled The Mobile Economy, India, 2016, India had 616 million unique users subscribed to mobile services in India at the end of June 2016.

Mobile data traffic is expected to grow 12-fold between 2015 and 2020, at a CAGR of 63 percent. Data usage by GSM mobile users has shown a growth in average usage of 236MB per month in September, 2016 to 884 MB per month in December, 2016.

Mobile operators in India have so far reported limited revenue contribution from data services, generating 17 percent of service revenues in 2015. This is forecast to increase to 23 percent by 2020.

Baburajan K