Telecom service quality norms may be tighter, Vaishnaw seeks QoS improvement

New Delhi: Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday assured the sector of more reforms in offing but asserted that the industry too will have to do its bit and reciprocate by improving quality of service (QoS) "significantly".

He indicated that service quality parameters will be significantly increased, and that Telecom Department will approach Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in this regard.

"I will be requesting Department (Telecom Department) to send a new consultation paper to TRAI for significantly increasing the quality of service parameters almost making it 3X or 4X of what it is today," Vaishnaw said at an event organised by Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA).

The minister exhorted the industry including telecom operators and infrastructure providers to move "full steam ahead" on improving quality of services in the country, now that a slew of reforms have been announced and more are lined up.

The minister said initiatives cannot be one-sided, and the equation has to be "reciprocal".

"You can't clap with only one hand, both hands are needed. It cannot be that just we keep doing what you ask. You also have to do what we ask," he said.

The comment assumes significance as improvement in telecom service quality is bound to cheer mobile customers, irked by call drops and patchy networks.

The minister promised that the journey of 5G will be "exciting" and noted that the government has given a target of 80 per cent coverage in "a short time frame" to the industry.

"While many countries took multiple years to reach 40-50 per cent coverage, we are targeting a very aggressive timeline. We should definitely cover at least 80 per cent in a very short time frame," Vaishnaw said.

He said that the industry will revert with its internal workings on coverage targets and timelines "very soon".

"Hopefully, we should be able to make a difference in common citizens' life by providing good high quality digital services," he said.

The minister assured that Government's approach will be that of a partner to the


As it is, the Government has moved swiftly on ironing out industry issues and simplifying processes. He mentioned upcoming initiatives on legal backing for Right of Way and licencing reforms.

At the same time, Vaishnaw made it amply clear that that while government has introduced a wave of major reforms in the sector in the past too, telecom service providers and infrastructure players now need to focus and prioritise quality of service at

their end.

"Now that we have given so much by way of reforms, the telecom service providers should increase their quality of service significantly," he emphasised.

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