Bharti Airtel in Mumbai and Tata Teleservices in Delhi meet TRAI’s QoS benchmark for call drop rate in Drive test

By July 23rd, 2015 AT 11:23 AM

Telecom Regulatory of India (TRAI) has released the findings of the quality auditing it had undertaken in Mumbai and Delhi to analyze the network quality of telecom operators. According to the results, Airtel scores in Mumbai and Tata Teleservices in Delhi. Both these operators have met the laid-down quality of service (QoS) benchmarks for call drop rate, which as per norms should be less than 2%.


The call drop rate in Mumbai were as shown below:

  • Idea – 5.56%
  • Tata – 5.51%
  • Vodafone – 4.83%
  • Aircel – 3.19%
  • Reliance – 2.29%
  • Airtel – 0.97%

The call drop rates in Delhi were not very different.

  • Idea – 2.84%
  • Tata – 0.84%
  • Vodafone – 4.28%
  • Aircel – 5.18%
  • Reliance – 17.29%
  • Airtel – 8.04%

According to the parameters, it is evident that most of the operators do not meet the benchmarks for quality networks. “They failed to achieve the benchmarks due to high block call rate, high drop call rate, low call setup success rate and poor Rx quality,” TRAI said.

“Given the adverse impact of call drops on the consumers, the telecom service providers (TSPs) were advised to take initiatives and improve their performance, including exploring suitable compensation for call drops,” TRAI added.

On an elaborated note, the main reasons contributing to call drops are cited as below:

  • Limited spectrum, delay in allocation o f spectrum, reduction in 2G frequency band after auction, and major changeover of frequencies within and across the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands on the live networks for some TSPs.
  • Poor coverage due to non-availability of sites for BTS in some areas; sealing of existing sites; forced closure of existing sites by local bodies. During the last six months, 801 sites in Mumbai and 523sites in Delhi were shut down due to various reasons.
  • EMF radiation issues causing fear in the minds of general public.
  • Interference issues caused by illegal repeaters, private wide band repeaters, and other wireless devices installed by individuals.

Background on the test

The test was conducted by an agency on behalf of TRAI. Idea, Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance (GSM), Aircel & Tata(GSM) were the operators who were monitored. 23rd and 24th June 2015, a team of the agency along with a team from TRAI headquarters travelled through a prescribed route via on road and analyzed the following factors – coverage, Rx quality, accessibility, retainability, mobility, and career to interference ratio.

The on-road route was chosen after considering several factors – areas from where call drop complaints are commonly received; areas of heavy usage; residential areas away from arterial roads; office areas; areas where previous Drive tests showed network issues etc. The test was performed between 9am tp 7.30pm, to cover both peak and off-peak hours.

TRAI is evaluating the consultation paper on ‘Regulatory Framework on Call Drops’. The results are restrained to the network conditions on the prescribed route, during the day and time of the Drive test.

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Sathish Kumar

Off topic ; but important one! Much awaited : Spectrum sharing policy is need of the hour for efficient use of available spectrum in all operators. Did you know ? RAT Group (Reliance GSM, Aircel, Tata GSM )- 3G Pan India network expansion plan to compete with its peers AVOID 3G, BSNL 3G & MTNL 3G: These 3 network have huge debt, particularily Aircel & Tata have more than 25K Cr each, however these 3 trying to expand its 3G pan india coverage in slowly. Reliance’s 3G first/primary focus only in 3 circles : Reliance’s major responsibility is to expand… Read more »

Sathish Kumar

The fast rise in customer numbers has put severe pressure on the networks. The minister has rightly said it is the job and responsibility of the service providers to upgrade their networks and pushed them to conduct special drives for radio frequency optimisation with regular upgradation. Congestion or overload of network is the prime cause, with firms failing to keep pace with growing subscriber base. Another major reason is the shortage of telecom towers. Tower density is very low in the country. The shortage is critical in all cities and towns and it is estimated that at least 30 per… Read more »

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