Calcutta, Jan. 1: The latest Trai report on congestion levels and quality of service show that Bengal and Calcutta are among the worst affected regions.
Lack of infrastructure sharing between private mobile operators and also with BSNL led to high congestion levels, call drops and black spots where no coverage was available.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had set a benchmark in the quality of service regulation of July 2005.
The limit of congestion at a point of interconnection (POI) was set at less than 0.5 per cent. This meant that out of 200 calls between two operators, only one may not get connected.
In September, the Bengal circle had more than 40 per cent congestion in four POIs between private operators Hutch, Reliance Telecom and Airtel and with BSNL as well. The congestion was more than 10 per cent and up to 40 per cent in 23 points, more than 5 per cent and up to 10 per cent in 29 points and more than 0.5 per cent and up to 5 per cent in 43 points.
In the same period, the Calcutta circle had five POIs with congestion level more than 40 per cent whereas Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai had no such points.
Infrastructure sharing is critical in congested areas where new towers or base transceiver stations (BTS) cannot always be constructed.
“Sharing of cell sites will have to decided nationally. “mobile operators might then have to restructure their network expansion accordingly,” Abhijit Pal, chief operating officer-Calcutta, Tata Teleservices Ltd, had said. The company, which uses the latest CDMA 3G1X technology, has recently upgraded its network by setting up more towers. The towers are set to increase from 250 to over 350 by the end of this fiscal.
POIs between Bharti Airtel and Hutch in Bengal in September had a congestion level of 41.89 per cent while those between Bharti Airtel and Reliance GSM was at 66.85 per cent.
Airtel has lined up Rs 400 crore for the Calcutta and Bengal circles to upgrade its network.
Between Tata Teleservices and Reliance Telecom fixed, the congestion level was 84.69 per cent in Calcutta during the same period of time.
Hutchison Telecom East is set to double its network in the city and cover 300 additional towns (population of over 3,000 and 5,000) in the state this fiscal.