TRAI chief wants India to rely on wired Internet and not wireless

TRAI Chairman RS Sharma
Telecom regulator TRAI on Thursday stressed on the need for using wired internet services instead of relying more on wireless services.

India has 97.48 million wireless broadband users and 15.84 million wired broadband subscribers as of July 2015, according to TRAI data. BSNL is the leader in wired broadband segment, while Bharti Airtel is leading the wireless Internet space.

Wireline phone subscriber base declined from 26.15 million in June 2015 to 26.10 million in July 2015.

Lamenting the low base of landline phones in the country, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma said India has “missed the bus” in terms of wired broadband.

“While broadband requirement of the people will be satisfied to a certain extent, but it needs to be realised that there are limits to the bandwidth provided through wireless.

“Wired broadband is cost-effective. But in case of wired broadband, India has missed the bus,” Sharma said here at an MCC Chamber of Commerce organised event.

He said the lack of adequate number of landlines can be compensated by cable TV connections for supplementing wired broadband.

“Unfortunately in India, the trend is towards dismantling landlines and moving towards mobile. Because of this low base of landlines, we are not able to utilise those.

“However, with over 100 million cable TV homes, that could be used for providing bandwidth for broadband. This is the way we should start working now and not depend completely on wireless,” he said.

He also dispelled as myth of mobile towers radiation being hazardous to health.

“Let me dispel this myth about mobile tower radiation. In fact it’s not radiation, rather radio waves. Their effect is similar to what sunrise does. Actually itas not radiation, it is somehow been made to believe that they are harmful. It doesn’t cause cancer, doesn’t cause any health hazard. Many authoritative health bodies in the world have said it,” he said.

Interacting with the media at another event, Sharma said the TRAI was exploring avenues to increase private participation in implementation of BharatNet, which aims to connect panchayats through a fibre network offering multiple online services.

“We are exploring ways to increase private sector involvement in BharatNet. We would like their involvement in both construction of the network and providing services,” he said.