Telecom regulator Trai today said it will start independent drive tests from mid-February to assess call drops as well as service quality for voice and data offerings of all mobile operators in Delhi. The exercise called the Independent Drive Tests (IDTs) will be spread over 18 days and is likely to be completed by mid-March. In all, 70 cities are slated to be covered under the Trai's 'drive tests' between July 2017 and June 2018. "In the series of IDTs planned, Trai will start IDTs in Delhi Service area including Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurugram and Faridabad cities starting mid of February and likely to be completed by mid March," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in a statement here. The drive tests by Trai will be conducted for about 18 days covering networks of all the telecom service providers offering cellular services in Delhi service area and will assess their voice and data services on the stipulated performance benchmarks. Trai regularly monitors the performance of telecom operators against the prescribed service quality norms. "For the period July 2017 to June 2018, Trai has a plan to conduct IDTs in 70 cities.
Most of these cities are having a population of more than 10 lakh," Trai said. All state capitals and satellite towns of metro towns have been included in this plan irrespective of the population. "So far IDTs have been conducted in more than 33 cities. IDT reports of 16 of these cities have already been published...IDT reports for the remaining 17 cities will be published shortly," it said. Amongst the cities where drive tests will be conducted are Jaipur, Kota, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Hissar, Ahmedabad, Agra, Meerut, Bhopal, Gwalior, Madurai, Cochin, Nashik amongst others. Besides these 70 cities, drive tests are also lined up along national highways and railway routes. For voice service, the drive tests assess network coverage, call set up success rate, drop call rate amongst others while for data service it will examine the download and upload throughputs, web browsing delays, video streaming delay and latency. The call drop and service quality has been a burning issue in the telecom sector in India. In fact, the TRAI, in October, enforced a new, stricter formula for assessing the quality of service and is soon expected to being out the result of that assessment for October to December quarter.