The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper titled “Review of Quality-of-Service (QoS) Standards for Access Services (Wireless and Wireline) and Broadband (Wireless and Wireline) Services”.

According to TRAI, it has been receiving a number of complaints from subscribers regarding call drops and other network-related issues, especially after the roll-out of 5G services. Upon detailed analysis of quarterly QoS performance reports, the regulator has noted that due to the long performance assessment period of a quarter over a large area like a licensed service area (LSA), there may be pockets or areas experiencing poor QoS due to averaging effect while service providers are meeting overall QoS benchmark at LSA level.

TRAI has noted that the QoS parameters and benchmarks for voice and data services are technology agnostic in present regulations. The relevant terminology for 5G services has also been updated in draft regulations to monitor the QoS performance of 5G. As 4G and 5G networks are providing much wider coverage in the country compared to the 2G and 3G networks, stringent performance benchmarks, especially related to call drops, are proposed for 4G and 5G services to improve the consumer experience. Network availability is an important requirement for good QoS. Therefore, the performance against the service provider’s network availability is proposed to be monitored at the state and UT levels to ensure that consumers get uninterrupted services.

Further, to simplify the regulatory framework for QoS, TRAI has proposed to have single regulation dealing with QoS standards for all voice and data services irrespective of their access medium i.e., for both wireline and wireless services. Accordingly, present three regulations are proposed to be merged into a single regulation. The present three regulations are:

  • The Standards of Quality of Service of Basic Telephone Service (Wireline) and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service Regulations, 2009
  • Quality of Service of Broadband Service Regulations 2006
  • The Standards of Quality of Service for Wireless Data Services Regulations 2012.

These regulations have been amended from time to time based on the induction of new technologies such as 4G.

In the above context and to address all relevant QoS-related issues in a holistic manner, TRAI has issued this consultation paper for seeking stakeholders’ comments. Written comments on the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders latest by September 20, 2023. Counter comments may be submitted by October 5, 2023.