India mobile networks on the verge of collapse, regulators warn

With Delhi now having 10 million mobile phone subscribers and 4 million more adding to the number nationwide each month, interconnectivity between wireless networks in India, groaning under the weight of the system, is facing near total collapse, regulators, quoted in a Times of India report, said.


According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the result is that, more often than not, calls vanish into thin air or recorded messages such as 'The network you are trying to access is currently busy' or 'the mobile phone you are trying to reach is unavailable at present' are heard.


The runaway growth of mobile connections had led to a steep increase in inter-network traffic with more and more people communicating with each other, cutting across the networks of service providers, the report said.


TRAI, in an application before the Supreme Court, complained that the problem became acute after TDSAT barred its jurisdiction to look into interconnectivity agreements between service providers.


The court allowed its plea for an early hearing on the appeal against the TDSAT order.


'Interconnection is the lifeline to support such high growth in inter-network traffic. For the consumers to get acceptable quality of service, an effective and efficient interconnection regime is a must,' TRAI said in its application.


The regulator said it had reports showing deterioration in quality of service in the service providers' networks due to congestion at points of interconnection, particularly with BSNL, the Times of India report said.