Indian Telecom Saga is still about 2G Voice as operators strive to bring in the most interior rural parts on to the telecom network. Apart from expanding the number of cell sites, the operators have alternative methods to boost capacity. These include usage of 3G network, fluid ICR agreements and vertical expansion. The following 4 Methodologies are Widely used by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Reliance to optimize and enhance the Voice Services in India
Vertical expansion – Cell sites can be expanded vertically by adding additional channels. These additional TRX provide exponentially more capacity on the cell site.
Using the 3G network for Voice Calls – Subscribers with 3G-enabled phones are usually routed through the 3G band for voice calls. This is done to reduce traffic on the legacy 2G band.
Roaming agreements – Network minutes and data is a representation of all traffic carried by the operator which includes traffic used under ICR agreements. Hence, akin to the infrastructure-sharing agreement between Reliance Communications, Aircel and Uninor, operators can have fluid infrastructure agreements to prevent traffic bottlenecks.
Dynamic coding – Networks are designed to maximise the trade-off between quality and the occupied bandwidth. The dynamic coding is designed to withstand a high load at poorer voice quality levels during peak usage hours
A combination of the above factors allows the Indian operators to maximise the throughput from the current network and handle a higher volume of traffic. We expect this to continue in the near term and do not expect significant upside risks to network outlays.
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