32% mobile service subscribers do not have coverage for majority of their day despite paying for 4G/5G services; 69% surveyed are facing call connection and drop issues daily
- ● Only 26% of subscribers surveyed say their home has good voice coverage for all 3 operators
- ● Only 5% subscribers surveyed say their workplace has good voice coverage for all 3 operators
- ● 20% subscribers surveyed face connectivity issues for over 50% of their voice calls
- ● Airtel rated as best voice service at home while Jio rated as best at workplace; VI lagging in both places
February 17, 2023, New Delhi: LocalCircles, in late January met the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) leadership to discuss a series of consumer issues ranging from 5G service experience to pesky calls/SMS, rampant call drops to fixed line issues. Subsequently, TRAI has called a meeting with mobile phone operators on February 17th to discuss the quality of wireline and wireless services. The meeting will discuss potential “measures and action plan to improve the QoS, review the current QoS standards, QoS for 5G services, and unsolicited commercial communications," the regulator said in its statement on February 2nd.
LocalCircles shared with TRAI leadership the findings of its January survey on 5G services including that only 16% mobile subscribers surveyed, who had switched to 5G, have indicated an improvement in call connection and drop issues. TRAI outlined to LocalCircles how 5G infrastructure will take time and will be 15-20X by the end of 2023. However, service quality of 4G was a concern that it is working to address with the operators. To understand people’s experience in regard to call connection and drop issues, whether 4G or 5G, especially where they spend most of their day, i.e. home and workplace, LocalCircles conducted another national study which received over 42,000 responses from citizens located in 338 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 46% respondents were from tier 1, 31% from tier 2 and 23% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted between Jan 15th, 2023 and Feb 14th, 2023.
Only 26% of homes surveyed have good mobile network voice coverage from all operators
Home is where people spend a lot of their time however LocalCircles has continued to receive a large number of complaints through the last 12 months about the poor mobile network quality. The first survey question therefore focused on quality of mobile service at homes. It asked respondents, “How is the quality of different mobile networks for continued coverage for outbound and inbound calls?” Nearly 11,000 people responded to this query with only 26% stating that all 3, i.e., Jio, Airtel and VI work well”. Of the remaining, 19% stated that all the three mobile networks work poorly; 12% indicated that Jio works well while the other two work poorly; 8% rated Airtel high while complaining of poor services from VI and Jio; 4% felt VI works well while Airtel and Jio services are poor; another 8% voted for VI and Airtel working well while rating Jio services as poor, but 23% of respondents did not share their views. Overall, what it indicates is that only 26% respondents indicated that where they reside, all the three mobile networks have good coverage. This datapoint is of importance because many times mobile subscribers just move to the operator with the best coverage instead of registering a complaint.
46% mobile subscribers rate Airtel network quality (for outbound/ inbound calls) good at their home
When the survey findings are reviewed at an operator level, 46%, the highest number of subscribers, rated Airtel network quality as good at their home while 42% rated Jio network quality at their home as good. Only 34% rated VI network quality at their home as good.
43% mobile subscribers rate VI network quality (for outbound/ inbound calls) poor at their home
When the survey findings are reviewed at an operator level, 43%, the highest number of mobile subscribers, rated VI network quality as poor at their home while 35% rated Jio network quality as poor at their home and 31% rated Airtel network quality as poor at their home.
Only 5% subscribers surveyed say their workplace has good voice coverage from all operators
Those employed or running a business spend 8-10 hours of their day at workplaces 5-6 days a week and hence it becomes extremely important that their workplaces have good coverage so they can talk to customers, suppliers, business partners and service providers. Therefore, the survey sought to understand people’s experiences with mobile networks. It asked them, “At your workplace, how is the quality of different mobile networks for outbound and inbound calls?” In response, surprisingly out of 10,892 subscribers only 5% indicated that all 3 – Jio, Airtel and VI work well at their workplace, while 32% indicated that all the three networks “work poorly”. Of the remaining, 32% or over three out of 10 respondents did not share their views, 21% felt “Jio works well while VI and Airtel work poorly”; 5% voted in favour of Airtel working well and another 5% voted for both Jio and Airtel. At their workplaces, the majority don’t seem to have rated VI highly.
It is known that quality of services in many offices and hospitals are often not good due to jammers put in some place for many reasons including steps to prevent too many calls and also for security reasons. Apart from these reasons, there is nothing stopping telecom service providers from improving their voice connectivity or voice call quality. In fact, the operators are supposed to end a bad call in a certain time period automatically when their system detects that the two parties are not audible and call quality has deteriorated. However, feedback from people suggests that the automatic ending of calls doesn’t always happens timely and so the users end up disconnecting.
31% mobile subscribers rate Jio network quality (for outbound/inbound calls) good at their workplace
When the survey findings are reviewed at an operator level, 31%, the highest number of subscribers, rated Jio network quality as good at their workplace while 15% rated Airtel network quality as good at their workplace. Only 5% rated VI network quality as good at their workplace.
63% mobile subscribers rate VI network quality (for outbound/inbound calls) poor at their workplace
When the survey findings are reviewed at an operator level, 63%, the highest number of mobile subscribers, rated VI network quality as poor at their workplace while 53% rated Airtel network quality as poor at their workplace, 37% rated Jio network quality as poor at their workplace.
69% mobile service subscribers face call connection/call drop problems on any given day
The next question in the survey then sought to understand the magnitude of call drop and call connection issues in the current scenario when many subscribers are transitioning to 5G while others continue to use 4G services either because they haven’t switched or the services aren’t available in their area. It asked respondents, “On any given day, what percent of your voice phone calls via the mobile network have a call connection or drop issue?”. A total of 10,927 responded to this query with 36% or more than one third of respondents stating “up to 25% of the calls”; 13% indicated the problem was as much as 25%-50%; while 10% indicated a much higher percentage of 50%-75% and 10% revealed that they face connectivity or call drop issues with 75% or almost all calls. Only 3% of respondents did not share their experience. To summarise, it appears that 69% subscribers face call connection/ call drop problems on any given day and out of which 33% are experiencing it for over 25% of their calls. It must also be noted that 20% are facing it with 50% of their calls, something all the 3 operators must address on an urgent basis.
32% mobile services subscribers do not have access to network majority of the time in their day despite paying for 4G/5G services
As a consumer, one of the biggest frustrations is paying for a service and not actually getting it. This is how many mobile subscribers have expressed their point of view on LocalCircles platform over the last 12 months. To quantify this issue in the context of 4G/%G services, the next question in the survey asked mobile subscribers “On any given day, what percent of the time you don’t have access to the 4G/5G network that you are paying for?” In response, only 28% of the 10,917 respondents revealed that they don't have any mobile call connection or drop issues while 15% gave no clear reply. Of the rest, 20% respondents indicated problems 50%-75% of the time, 17% indicated up to 25% of the time, 15% stated 25%-50% of the time and 12% stated anywhere between 75% to 100% of the time. On an aggregate basis 32% mobile subscribers surveyed indicated that though they are paying for 4G/5G services they do not have access to the network over 50% of the time. Again, another major issue that operators must fix as top priority.
To summarise, this latest survey attempted to understand Quality of Service of mobile operators at people’s home and workplaces, where they spend most of their time. The survey found that only 26% of mobile subscribers surveyed have good mobile network for voice coverage from all operators at their home while only 5% subscribers surveyed said their workplace has good voice coverage from all operators. 69% of those surveyed are facing call connection and call drop issues on a daily basis and 20% are facing connectivity issues for over 50% of their calls. 32% of the mobile service subscribers surveyed said that they do not have 4G/5G or mobile network coverage for majority of their day despite paying for the service. These are extremely disturbing findings as they present a quality of service scenario that must be addressed on priority by the regulator and the 3 operators. While the consumer may be willing to wait for improvement in 5G services, the 4G service quality needs immediate attention of all stakeholders.
LocalCircles will escalate the findings of this study with DOT and TRAI and other relevant stakeholder.
The survey received over 42,000 responses from citizens located in 338 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 46% respondents were from tier 1, 31% from tier 2 and 23% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.
LocalCircles, India’s leading Community Social Media platform enables citizens and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions and enables Government to make policies that are citizen and small business centric. LocalCircles is also India’s # 1 pollster on issues of governance, public and consumer interest. More about LocalCircles can be found on https://www.localcircles.com
For more queries - email@example.com, +91-8585909866
All content in this report is a copyright of LocalCircles. Any reproduction or redistribution of the graphics or the data therein requires the LocalCircles logo to be carried along with it. In case any violation is observed LocalCircles reserves the right to take legal action.
Enter your email & mobile number and we will send you the instructions.
Note - The email can sometime gets delivered to the spam folder, so the instruction will be send to your mobile as well