India's top telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd, currently has the largest number of congested points of interconnection (PoI) with other networks, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
The telecom regulator's report on network congestion in April - June quarter, said Bharti Airtel's congestion was at 56 PoIs, followed by Reliance Communications at 22 PoIs, Aircel with 21 PoIs and Vodafone with 19.
The states most affected by network congestion PoIs were Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, the North-East and Himachal Pradesh.
The report says that the performance of the cellular service providers network congestion had improved in June 2008, compared to March, 2008 even as the subscriber base grew by 25 million. The number of points having congestion had decreased from 275 in March 2008, to 156 in June 2008.
"The growth of mobile network is taking place at a very rapid pace and about 8 million subscribers are added every month," the report said.
In order to ensure seamless interconnection, TRAI has been monitoring the level of congestion at the point of interconnection between various service providers on a monthly basis.
The PoI parameter signifies the ease with which a customer of one network is able to communicate with a customer on another network.It also reflects the effectiveness of the interconnection between two networks.
The regulator said that the benchmark notified by TRAI in the quality of service (QoS) regulations in June 2005 for such congestion was less than 0.5 per cent. ''This means out of 200 calls between two (telecom) operators only one call should face congestion problem,'' it said.
The result of the monitoring reveals that in a number of areas, the degree of congestion between the operators is alarming. In a number of cities, the level of congestion between the networks of different operators is far more than this benchmark.
Privately owned service providers in the past have often blamed the state-run BSNL saying that the company hasn't provided enough points of interconnection, which has led to significant congestion in the network.
Telecom experts say that such problems can be overcome if the service providers make sufficient investment in towers and other infrastructure.
The report has shown a decline in the number of points having congestion when a call is made between a private operator to BSNL / MTNL, from 118 in March, 2008 to 94 in June. During the same period POI congestion among private operators has also decreased from 157 in March, 2008 to only 62 in June, 2008.