Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday assured the sector of further reforms, but made clear that the industry will also have to do its part and reciprocate by “significantly” improving the quality of telecommunications services.
He said that the QoS parameters could be made stricter and stricter, perhaps up to 3-4 times, and that the Department of Telecommunications will approach the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI ) in this regard.
The Minister cited the multitude of reforms in the telecommunications sector and those that are planned to send a strong and firm message that initiatives cannot be unilateral and that the equation must be “reciprocal”.
“You can’t clap with one hand, both hands are needed. We can’t just keep doing what you ask. You also have to do what we ask,” he said.
The comment is gaining prominence as the improved quality of telecom services is sure to cheer mobile customers, irritated by dropped calls and patchy networks.
“I will ask the Department (Department of Telecommunications) to send a new consultation document to TRAI to significantly increase the quality of service parameters, making almost 3X or 4X of what it is today, so whatever either the quality of service that we are seeing, should now improve significantly,” Vaishnaw said at an event hosted by the Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA).
The minister urged industry, including telecom operators and infrastructure providers, to press forward “full steam” to improve the quality of services in the country, now that a series of reforms have been announced and others are proposed.
The minister promised the 5G journey would be “exciting” and noted that the government had given the industry an 80% coverage target in “a short period of time”.
“While many countries have taken several years to reach 40-50% coverage, we are aiming for a very aggressive schedule. We should definitely cover at least 80% in a very short period of time,” he said. .
Vaishnaw said the industry would return “very soon” with its internal work on coverage targets and timelines.
“I hope we can make a difference in the lives of ordinary citizens by providing quality digital services,” he said.
Simply put, fifth-generation or 5G services promise vastly improved speeds and lag-free video, where apps will range from connected ambulances to cloud gaming and even augmented reality trials for shoppers. 5G would allow full high-quality videos or movies to be downloaded to mobile and other devices in seconds (even in crowded areas or during mega events) and would support one million devices in one square kilometer.
The minister assured that the government’s approach will be that of an industry partner. As it stands, the Center has quickly resolved industry issues and streamlined processes. Simplified processes around telecommunications tower permits are one example, he said.
The minister mentioned upcoming initiatives, including legal support for right-of-way and licensing reforms, and said the government was “ready to receive” suggestions on progressive initiatives. The next major reform will concern the telecommunications bill, and its draft will be submitted for public consultation by the end of next week, he said.
Telecom Bill will provide legal support for right-of-way actions, providing an enabling framework to reduce approval times and provide remedies for fiber and tower damage, he said.
He said that as part of the railway land lease policy, charges have been set for fiber optics crossing under the railway line and costs have been streamlined. With this reform, the costs have been fixed at Rs 1,000, and not linked to the value of the land, while the approval processes will be simple and fast (within a week).
At the same time, Vaishnaw made it clear that while the government has introduced a wave of major reforms in the sector, telecom service providers and infrastructure players now need to focus and prioritize service quality. on their side.
“Now that we have given so much through the reforms, telecom service providers should significantly increase their quality of service,” he said.
Vaishnaw said field officers have been tasked with monitoring service quality and shutting down telecom operators when service quality is not up to par.
On energy consumption in telecommunications towers, he called on the industry to find sustainable solutions involving renewable energy or green hydrogen, in order to reduce the carbon footprint.
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