COAI Says No Additional Spectrum Required as Telcos See Flattening of Data Traffic

COAI backs down from its earliest push for additional spectrum due to its members witnessing a flattening of Data Traffic

By April 1st, 2020 AT 5:28 PM
Highlights
  • COAI said that the telecom operators no longer require additional spectrum to maintain the quality of network and services
  • COAI said that the telecom operators worked with local municipalities to open up sealed towers
  • Ookla said that the mean download speed over mobile has decreased in India

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that telecom operators no longer require additional spectrum to maintain the stability and quality of networks as operators are witnessing a flattening of traffic demand. COAI, the industry body for telecom operators like Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea in the recent past has been vocal about its member networks witnessing a surge in data usage. Last week, the COAI urged users to use data more responsibly and appealed to streaming companies to default the video quality to standard definition (SD). Further, the COAI highlighted Cell on Wheels (CoWs) as an additional mechanism to cope up with network coverage and congestion while pushing the government to issue additional spectrum for maintaining telecom services.

Operators No Longer Require Additional Spectrum

Rajan Mathews, director of COAI said on Wednesday that the telecom operators no longer require additional spectrum as the steps taken by the industry body has resulted in flattening of traffic demand.

“Based on the present condition of member networks, we believe there is no such present need and Operators remain confident the steps they have taken presently can maintain the relatability and quality of their networks and services,” Mathews said.

Along with the request to streaming operators to default video content to SD, Mathews on Tuesday said that COAI has been working to augment the capacity by moving in temporary towers. Mathews said that the operators have been working with the local municipalities to open up sealed towers back on line along with redistribution of traffic on their networks.

Networks Braced Work From Home Users

With only 19.14 million wireline broadband users for a period ending December 2019 as per the data from Trai, Indian users largely depended on cellular networks for professional work. While Indians are under lockdown due to the COVID-19 situation, Oakla, the internet testing, data and analysis firm said on Monday that “mean download speed over mobile decreased in India.” Oakla said that the decrease was noted when it compared the data from the week of March 23 to that of March 16.

“India’s mean latency over mobile showed a sharp increase over the same period,” Ookla said in its report.

Additionally, the firm also noted that it continued to witness an “increase in percent change in mobile test volume” in several countries including India during the week of March 23.

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Born in India, Yogesh loves to travel and has lived in multiple countries including New Zealand and Canada. His bylines can be found on various newspapers and blogs throughout the world, including Vancouver Sun, Surrey Now-Leader, Daily Hive , Investing News Network and Rach F1.

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