TRAI launches consultation on mobile data speeds

2 Jun 2017

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published a consultation paper on data speeds for wireless broadband connections, looking at potential ways to improve service quality for subscribers. In the consultation paper, the TRAI notes that ‘the surge in the number of broadband connections in the country has also been accompanied by increasing reports of consumer dissatisfaction with the speed of data being provided to them,’ but acknowledges that many of the complaints derive from a disconnect between customer expectations and the service received. The TRAI points out, for example, that advertised download speeds are not reflective of the rates experienced by customers. Citing crowd-sourced data collected from its MySpeed portal, the watchdog claimed that many 3G subscribers were receiving download speeds of less than 1Mbps, with actual rates clocking in at as low as 10kbps. As such, the regulator is considering making changes to rules governing the information that must be provided to consumers in advertising material and subscription plan. Whilst the watchdog accepted that minimum speeds would be difficult for operators to guarantee, the regulator suggested that including an average or ‘typical’ download speed would provide consumers with clarity.

Meanwhile, the TRAI is also looking into setting new quality of service (QoS) requirements for mobile broadband services, but recognised that monitoring compliance with such obligations would be problematic, not least of all because of the number of factors potentially affecting a customers’ received data transfer rate.