Patchy network is not an uncommon problem in the city but in the past few weeks, residents have been facing increased call drops, network outages and slower internet connectivity.
From work-from-home professionals to students continuing with online education, many residents said that network issues have increased compared to earlier. “I have been using a mobile hotspot for my work-from-home needs and did not get a local wi-fi installed, but the network issues have got worse over the past few weeks. Now, I have no option but to get a wi-fi connection as I cannot depend on the hotspot at all,” said Rishav Kumar, a resident of Sector 14.
The government school teachers, tasked with reaching out to students without smartphones through voice calls, complained of struggles due to network outages and call drops. “I have two mobile numbers of different operators. But the situation is such that both are giving equally bad networks. It takes multiple attempts to connect a call, and then there are call drops or a lack of voice clarity. If we do not meet our target, officials pull us up and are not ready to believe that our work suffers because of poor network,” said a government school teacher.
Network providers and industry insiders have blamed the sudden spike on the third wave leading to a high demand for networks in the city. The recent issues, they said, are due to a sudden rise in the traffic in some of the residential areas, with offices having closed once again and schools and colleges shifting back to online classes.
The areas witnessing issues are the ones, which have fewer towers, but are now seeing a spike in consumer demands. “There are no issues with the services, but there has been a 50% spike in data usage in certain residential pockets. Since offices and schools have shut down due to the third wave, the traffic, earlier scattered across the city, has spiked in certain pockets.
The areas where we are struggling to erect more towers are facing the issues,” said an industry insider on the condition of anonymity.
The private operators and their associations have also noted an upsurge in demand, adding that they are trying to expand their infrastructure to increase coverage and meet the demand. “The upsurge in demand for more bandwidth is being monitored and met at present by a robust back-up and redundancy feature inbuilt in the operators’ network systems,” said Lt. Gen SP Kochhar, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
“COAI has engaged with the telecommunication department (DoT) and state-level authorities, getting permission to deploy telecom infrastructure such as towers, cell on wheels (CoW), etc., to ensure business continuity and provision of seamless services,” he added.
Meanwhile, the district administration said that the operators, who are witnessing an upsurge in demand and feel the need to boost their infrastructure, should approach them. “The district administration is committed to improving network in the region. If the telecom operators face any hassles, they can easily reach out to me. Even if they face a procedural hindrance, we will facilitate them,” deputy commissioner Yash Garg told TOI. TNN