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COAI: Indian Telcos Don’t Need Extra Spectrum to Manage Traffic

Indian government has asked streaming players to reduce video quality and this has eased traffic for telcos.

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The Cellular Authority of India (COAI) has confirmed that Indian telecom operators won’t be needing extra spectrum over the coming weeks. The cellular body believes with streaming platforms bringing down their video quality, the load on the internet bandwidth has become easier to manage.

Interestingly, ever since India was put on lockdown, and various companies have been working from home, the load on the home broadband internet has increased manifold. So the fact that COAI wanted more spectrum for telcos didn’t add up in the first place.

COAI believes the steps taken in accordance with the Department of Telecom (DoT) over the past few days has eased the concerns of the telcos.

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“ Over the past few days, the industry, in concert with actions coordinated with the DoT, has seen a flattening of traffic demand on member’s networks,” said Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI in a statement.

Mathews also lists out the efforts put forth by telcos, after they were ordered by DoT, which had also reached out streaming giants like Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar and even Facebook to throttle their video quality during the lockdown period in the country.

In addition to this, he says telcos had worked with local authorities to get control over towers which were sealed.

“Some of these actions relate to streaming services reducing their content from HD to SD, local municipalities working with Operators to bring sealed towers back on line, some redistribution of traffic on the network, among other things,” he adds.

All these efforts, he says, means operators are no longer seeking additional network spectrum from the Indian government. “Based on the present condition of Member networks, we believe there is no such present need and Operators remain confident the steps they have taken presently can maintain the relatability and quality of their networks and services.”

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