In Business Model, Mobile, News

Indian telecom service providers and tower companies are primarily responsible for the deteriorating quality of service, including call drops, an ETTelecom poll finds.

Perhaps the only surprise is that the percentage is “only” 69 percent. Subscribers to any telecommunications or video entertainment subscription will blame the access provider for most problems related to the use of the service, even when the problems actually are caused by end user devices or other causes essentially outside the service provider’s full control, history suggests.

Fully 69 percent of the respondents to an online poll believe mobile service operators and tower companies are responsible for growing instances of call drops and worsening quality of service.

As in the enterprise services business, consumers are going to expect “one throat to choke.”

There is plenty of finger pointing. Governments say mobile operators are not investing enough. The Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and the Cellular Operators Association of India say mobile operators cannot put towers where needed because of opposition from landowners or the public, as well as high right of way charges.

It perhaps is surprising that 19 percent of poll takers believe state governments and local municipalities are accountable for taking restrictive measures that hurt call quality, while 12 percent  blame citizens and resident groups.

In my experience, no survey of consumers taken in the United States has found that high a degree of blame aimed at government.

Some 37 percent of those polled did say that mobile operators need to invest more to fix the problems.

There are close to 550,000 mobile towers in India and industry analysts estimate another 100,000 such sites would be required over the next one to two years to cater to surging data usage, apart from voice services.

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