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Reliance,The most congested networks: TRAI
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NEW DELHI: The congestion in cellular networks has gone up in the first three months of the calendar year (January-March), an analysis by sector

regulator Trai has revealed. The regulator said that Reliance Telecom, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular have the most congested networks among private operators while Tata Teleservices had the least levels of congestion.

The regulator, which monitors congestion on a monthly basis, has said that in as many as 76 places, the congestion levels were above the permissible limit during the quarter, when compared to only 66 such places in the previous quarter.

Congestion levels have been steadily coming down and had fallen to an all-time low in Oct-Dec ‘08, when telcos’ networks were congested in only 66 places. Network congestion leads to call drops and deterioration in voice quality. Besides, this is also the primary reason why consumers have to make repeated calls to get through.

The regulator tracks this by evaluating the congestion levels at the points of interconnection (PoI), which are places where mobile traffic is exchanged between the networks of different operators. Congestion level is one of the important parameters and signifies the ease by which a customer of one network is able to communicate with a customer of another network. The regulator has set a benchmark of less than 0.5% for this parameter. This means out of 200 calls between two operators, only one call should face the problem of congestion.

Among private service providers as of March 2009, Reliance Telecom and Idea both have congestion in 18 PoIs each, followed by Reliance Communications (16 POIs) and Vodafone (11 POIs). The circles most affected due to PoI congestion are Bihar (13 PoIs), followed by Andhra Pradesh and Kolkata (8 PoIs each) Assam and Himachal Pradesh (7 PoIs each) and Mumbai (6 PoIs), Trai said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel, which so far had the most congested network, has shown a rapid turnaround and now boasts of one of the lowest congestion levels, Trai’s report said. In fact, Bharti is now second behind only the Tatas, in terms of the least congested networks.
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