I can’t think of a telecom operator who is not going to fail to meet these benchmarks, but the fact that they’ve been set means two things: telecom operators will have to track and report their quality of service performance for data services in India, and the TRAI will (hopefully regularly) publish data about how various telecom operators are performing when it comes to mobile Internet services. Some key benchmarks that have been set by the TRAI for telcos:
– Average Throughout for packet data should be greater than 75% of the subscribed speed.
– Latency should be less than 250 ms
– Drop rate should be equal to or less than 5%
– Successful data transmission download attempts should be greater than 80%, and upload attempts should be greater than 75%
– Service provisioning of data services should be within 4 hours, and with a 95% success rate
– Minimum Download Speed for each data plan by each service provider will be reported to the TRAI, and averaged over a month for the plan
Given how patchy data connectivity can be in India, a 5% drop rate is very difficult to maintain; We’ll have to see how many telcos achieve a throughput of greater 75% and a latency of less than 250 ms.
The issuance of these regulations will lead to the publication of data, which will allow us to compare data services across telecom operators. Still, we don’t think the TRAI is doing enough when it comes to collection and publishing of data.
What Do We Want
– Expand these regulations to cover wireline ISPs as well
– Conduct tests on throttling of Internet services by ISPs
– Separate out data for 3G, EVDO (data card services from CDMA operators), and 2G services. Some telcos provide data services in both CDMA and GSM, and this might lead to a skew in data.
– Publish reports on the number of monthly active wireless and wireline data subscribers, as provided by ISPs and telecom operators. There is just a too much hype around Internet subscribers in India, largely fueled by hyperbole from Google India, and a reality check would be useful.
In the past, whenever we’ve filed an RTI with the TRAI or India’s Department of Telecom for data on USB data card subscribers, and Mobile Internet subscribers in India, they’ve said that they don’t collect that data. Hopefully, this will change now.