Cell operators better than basic service operators:Trai study

NEW DELHI: Cellular operators in the country are providing much better quality of service than their basic service counterparts due to fierce competition in the cellular market, which has forced operators to constantly improve their networks resulting in acceptable levels of service, according to a survey carried out by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Conducted by IMRB, the regulator-commissioned survey looks at various parameters to assess quality of service provided by basic, GSM and CDMA telecom service providers for the period October to December 2003.


Both the objective audit and subjective survey suggest that the basic services being provided are not up to the desired standards. There is an urgent need for improvement of quality of services among basic service providers.

The situation is quite bad in respect of following parameters, according to the Trai survey:

i. Provision of New connections within 7 days

ii. No. of faults per 100 Subscribers per month

iii. Time taken to repair the faults

iv. Time taken to shift connection

v. Closures

It is also observed that quality of services of basic operators is at somewhat acceptable levels in metros and A circles. However, it is very poor in the B and C circles.

Similarly, quality of basic services in the East and North zones lags behind West and South zones by a fair margin.


On the whole, it has been observed that cellular operators are providing much better quality of service than their basic service counterparts. Fierce competition in the cellular market has forced operators to constantly keep improving their networks resulting in acceptable levels of service.

Nevertheless, the areas where there is scope for improvement are as


i. Billing complaint incidence

ii. Call Success Rate

iii. Accumulated downtime of community isolation

Compared to the service in metros, A and B circles, the quality of mobile service in C circles is relatively poor. It seems that not enough investment is being made by operators to improve their services in the C circles.

The report also highlights the fact that quality of cellular service needs significant improvement in the eastern region.


The key concern areas for CDMA operators are billing complaint incidence, billing complaint resolution and fault incidence, in that order.

The performance of the CDMA operators on the remaining parameters is good.

Based on this survey report and also the quarterly performance monitoring report submitted by the service providers, the Authority has initiated an exercise to modify the QOS parameters wherever the prescribed benchmarks seems unrealistic.

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