Top telecom operators of India, including Vodafone Idea (Vi), Bharti Airtel, and Reliance Jio, are ready to provide seamless connectivity to users during the pandemic. Since most companies and employees are opting for remote working, the need for high-end connectivity has increased.
As per an ET Telecom report, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Director General, SP Kocchar, said that telcos have spent around Rs 9,000 crores in the last year for laying optic fibre cable and deploying new telecom sites.
Kocchar said that operators are completely geared up and ready to provide users with what they need.
The New Spectrum Will Come Into Play Now
A few days back, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had assigned the new spectrum to the telcos which they purchased on the spectrum auctions held on March 1 and March 2, 2021. The telecom department assigned a total of 855.60 MHz of spectrum across various frequency bands, including the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands.
DoT assigned the new spectrum to the telcos via frequency harmonisation exercise. The new airwaves were added in the spectrum blocks already held by the telcos for ensuring efficient use of the spectrum. The mobile networks saw up to a 33% surge in data consumption since the time pandemic came to India.
To meet up with this increased data demand, the telecom operators will be utilising the additional airwaves they purchased in the auctions. According to the Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), the operators have added over 69,448 new mobile towers between the February 2020 and April 21, 2021 period.
Things don’t look to be easing down anytime soon. Thus, a few days back, the TAIPA had urged the telecom department for directing the concerned ministries and the telecom regulator to allow free movement of engineers and field staff that need to go and do a routine check-up on the network sites.
If the routine check-up and maintenance of the telecom sites is not ensured, it could lead to interrupted network services, which won’t be a good thing for the Indian economy at the moment and the users in the affected area. Only time will tell if the mobile networks of Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea can handle the pressure of the increased data demands.