TRAI warns of worsening mobile congestion in India

5 Oct 2005

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today published a new study on the country’s mobile market suggesting that congestion on operators’ wireless networks will further deteriorate in the coming months, with no immediate prospects for improvement. Although the meteoric growth of mobile services in India has been lauded thus far, the TRAI’s study concludes that it has led to congestion levels in many cities that is 20 times higher than those stipulated by predefined quality of service norms. And the situation is getting worse. In January this year there were 24 locations where congestion levels exceeded 10% (ie 20 times higher than the industry benchmark). By July this had ballooned to 86 areas affected by inordinately high bottlenecks. The TRAI blames the current situation on India’s inefficient interconnect system between private operators and state-backed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, that has not kept pace with the dramatic rise in the country’s subscriber base.