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DoT Asks Telcos To Approach Wireless Wing For Additional Spectrum To Meet Data Demand

The DoT has asked telecom operators to submit their requirement for additional spectrum — necessitated due to the upsurge in data consumption because of the lockdowm — to the Wireless Planning Commission, according to industry sources.

Telecom operators have requested the Department of Telecom(DoT) for additional spectrum allocation to meet the rising load on networks due to the ongoing lockdown mandating people to stay at home. “The DoT has asked all telecom operators to submit their requirement of spectrum circle wise for both access and backhaul spectrum to the Wireless Planning Commission. The department will take call on spectrum allocation thereafter,” an industry source, who did not wish to be named, told PTI. Vodafone Idea on Thursday said it is monitoring traffic pattern and remains confident of handling surge in voice and data services demand amid country-wide lockdown to tackle the spread of coronavirus, as the company made an appeal to the telecom department to clear pending applications for spectrum allocation.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan S Mathews said the industry has requested local authorities across various states to allow use of sealed mobile towers so that network load can be handled to support work from home during the lockdown period. Telecom operators have seen up to 100 percent hike in data demand in some of the circles after the lockdown. “Covid-19 outbreak has resulted in a significant upsurge in data consumption across the world. In India, a high workforce remotely working and using video collaboration tools, is stressing the current network bandwidth. Indian telcos are experiencing anywhere between 30-100 percent increase in traffic for different circles,” Sterlite Technologies Group CEO Anand Agarwal said.

COAI has urged mobile consumers to use data networks responsibly so that critical services can run smoothly on communications infrastructure. Agarwal said there is a network shift from enterprise location to home location and telcos are working around innovative solutions like virtual radio access network to ease network congestion caused due to this shift.―Devdiscourse

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