More reports on: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

TRAI to prescribe minimum speed for mobile broadband

23 April 2014

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will soon issue new regulations to ensure mobile phone subscribers get a stipulated minimum download speed from their telecom operator, including 2G and 3G services.

The new regulations would ensure that consumers have clarity and assurance on the minimum download speed they would get from their telecom operator, be it 2G or 3G services, TRAI said.

"The Authority (TRAI) has been receiving a number of complaints from consumers regarding the poor download speed experienced by them. The Authority after examining the issue felt that there is now a need to mandate the 'minimum download speed' for the wireless data services," TRAI said in its latest consultation paper.

At present, there is no binding regulation on telecom operators to deliver wireless service at a particular minimum speed.

TRAI said it has been receiving complaints from consumers regarding the vaguely offered tariff plans and poor download speed experienced by them.

"The Authority after examining the issue, to protect the interest of consumers, has felt that there should be clarity on tariff plans offered to the consumers", the paper said.

Consumers are being wooed by telecom companies in advertisements regarding high speed wireless data services and product pack in which they are promised high speed of up to 7.2 megabit per second or 21 megabit per second.

While, even at 7.1 mbps speed, a mobile user should be able to download a full-length movie in around 12-14 minutes, it invariably takes around 40 minutes to download a file size equivalent to that of a movie on the best network.

The minimum speed reported by operators to TRAI lies in the range of 399 kbps (minimum broadband speed is 512 kbps) to 2.48 mbps.

TRAI has found the minimum speed delivered by operators doesn't even qualify to be called broadband.

The regulator is of the view that the minimum download speed for 3G and CDMA EVDO service should be 1 megabit per second with 95 per cent success rate. For GSM and CDMA 2G the minimum speed should be at 56 kilobit per second and for CDMA high speed data it is 512 kbps.

TRAI has sought public views on its consultation by May 5 and counter comments on it by 12 May.

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