COAI rejects TRAI’s drive test result for Delhi

Phone bill
Telecom industry body COAI says India’s 900 million plus mobile subscribers should not be confused with the drive test results for Delhi shared by TRAI.

“These results ought not to be confused with the standard QoS which is mandated by TRAI which is computed for the whole Licensed Service Area (i.e. all cell sites in the LSA),” said COAI in a statement on Thursday.

COAI said the drive test and its results do not cover all the cell sites but only a limited amount of the LSA. The mobile industry association is also not happy with the way the test drive is being conducted. COAI wants TRAI to solve the issues before publishing results of test drives.

While the area of the Delhi NCR region is 46,208 km², TRAI’s test drive results are limited to a route covering 600 km. “Hence the QoS results from the drive test are not strictly comparable with the standard QoS for dropped calls regularly published by TRAI for the entire service area,” said COAI.

COAI suggests that the issue of Quality of Service and Call Drops should be seen in a holistic manner for the entire LSA and not for selected samples or areas.

All the telecom network operators are in compliance with the benchmark set by TRAI of ≤ 2 percent, as of the last published QoS results for call drops which are as of September 2015. Main telecoms in Delhi include Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Communications, MTNL, etc.

Drive Tests cover limited areas. As a result, the results show problems limited to the problematic areas where the industry faces issues in obtaining cell sites.

The TRAI report shows majority of the call drops is happening in the four areas of Central Delhi, Dwarka and IGI Airport, Gurgaon and Manesar and Noida and Mayur Vihar.

Delhi IGI Airport has large areas of defense property and recently Minister of Communication and IT (MOC&IT) opened up defense land for setting up of telecom infrastructure.

MCD has sealed over 400 towers across the city over the past few months. Local municipal authorities shut down more than 250 towers in 2015 in Noida and Mayur Vihar area.

Telecom operators are facing issues in Gurgaon-Manesar area for setting up towers.

The TRAI report states that for Airtel, 65 percent of call drops are attributed to 4 areas of Connaught Place, Dwarka, Gurgaon and Noida. In case of Vodafone 60 percent of the call drops have occurred in Delhi University and Noida.

The telecom industry has invested over INR 8.5 lakh crore till date. The industry has put up over two lakh cell sites nationally in the past 15 months to improve QoS.