TRAI issues consultation paper on transparency in data speed of wireless broadband

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper ‘Data Speed Under Wireless Broadband Plans’ seeking the inputs of stakeholders on ensuring transparency and customer awareness regarding data speeds under wireless broadband plans.

The regulator has sought views whether the information on wireless broadband speeds currently being made available to consumers is transparent enough for making informed choices.

Another issue for consultation is whether it is difficult to commit a minimum download speed and whether average speed could be specified by the service providers. It has also sought to know the parameters for calculating average speed.

It has also asked what changes can be brought about to the existing framework on wireless broadband tariff plans to encourage better transparency and comparison between plans offered by different service providers.

The authority has also added whether there is a need to include/delete any of the QoS parameters and/or revise any of the benchmarks currently stipulated in the regulations.

TRAI has also asked whether disclosure of average network performance over a period of time or at peak times including through broadband facts/labels should be made mandatory.

Another issue for consultation pertains to whether standard application/ websites should be identified for mandating comparable disclosures about network speeds.

Wireless access networks are the main source of delivering broadband in the country. Global mobile subscriptions are growing around 5% year-on-year.

As per Ericsson’s mobility report, India grew the most in terms of net additions during the third quarter of 2016 by adding 15 million connections.

These figures have increased substantially in the last few quarters. Out of a total of 236.09 million broadband subscribers in the country as of 31st December 2016, approximately 92.32%, i.e. 217.95 million subscribers, have wireless access.