TRAI To Study Telcos Demand Seeking Extra Spectrum To Handle Rise In Data

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is said to have received request from telecom companies seeking additional spectrum to handle the data increase as a large number of employees continue to work from home in wake of the 21-day lockdown triggered by novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak.

It has asked telecom regulator TRAI to study the demand based on increased traffic and to come up with an assessment of measures to aid customers, sources told CNBC-TV18.

On March 25, Business Standard reported that telecom operators have urgently demanded additional spectrum, on a temporary basis from the government. Citing 15-20 percent surge in traffic from March 22, telcos said the move will help them cope “with the unprecedented increase in data usage as a result of work from home and self-quarantine across the country.”

In a letter to DoT, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) demanded additional spectrum for both “access and backhaul microwave” for the short term to augment their capacity and meet growing demand, the report said.

On March 23, COAI has urged the government to issue immediate instructions to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others to initiate measures that will ease pressure on network infrastructure. It also approached streaming platforms cautioning them about surge in digital use straining network infrastructure of telecom operators, and urged companies to take urgent steps like temporarily switching to SD (standard definition) from HD (hi definition) streaming, removing high bandwidth-consuming advertisements and pop-ups.

Now, CNBC-TV18 learns that the DoT has asked states to designate nodal officers for telecom cos, who are to be contacted in case firms face any difficulties. The nodal officers will also be in charge of ensuring seamless data and voice service, it added.

―Money Control

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