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19 Jul 2017

Dual-SIM 4G smartphones cause network issues: IT Minister

At a time when the Indian mobile landscape is fast evolving, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, PP Chaudhary, highlighted the issues faced by users due to dual-SIM 4G smartphones.

He said 4G dual-SIM phones have Internet speed-related issues, according to the details provided by TRAI.

He added smartphone makers had been asked to improve technology to address the degrading data speed.

In context

India's broken mobile networks

Only one of the SIM slots is 4G-enabled

Chaudhary said in the case of these dual-SIM phones, users experience data speed problems as only one slot is 4G-enabled. Apart from TRAI, some internet speed testing agencies have also claimed the 4G data speed can differ in the case of dual-SIM phones.

Handset manufacturers should take appropriate action: Chaudhary

Reasons, Solutions

Handset manufacturers should take appropriate action: Chaudhary

Chaudhary said data speed degradation would be higher when both 4G SIMs are used simultaneously or when only one of them provides 4G services.

Speed could also be affected when 4G SIMs are put in 2G/3G slots.

He added chip manufacturers could improve the network quality by improving algorithms.

TRAI has discussed the issue with service providers, mobile industry associations, and chipset manufacturers.

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Minister PP Chaudhary's statement

"The Indian Cellular Association was advised to take up the matter with the manufacturers so as to upgrade the algorithm in the handsets. Also, the service providers were advised to educate the consumers about proper use of SIM slot in dual SIM smartphones."


Poor quality smartphones affect network quality: COAI

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) earlier said there's a "massive influx of untested and uncertified smartphones" that have been affecting network quality, leading to high call drops.

However, the apex body of the mobile industry, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) dismissed COAI's charges that device quality is causing call drops.

It said all mobile phones sold in the country "diligently follow" the prescribed norms.

Mobile services have become cheap

The quality of Indian mobile networks was good in the mid-1990s when cell phones were introduced. Though the services were expensive, call drops were rare. Fast forward to 2017, calls are more than 20 times cheaper, but there is a decline in the quality.


Problems with mobile networks in India

There are over a billion mobile subscribers in India today; however, the quality of the services is pretty low.

Busy networks, call drops, no internet, no network while roaming, and weak signals, are some of the problems Indian mobile users deal with almost every day.

Telecom players attribute the low network quality to the limited spectrum (radio-waves carrying phone signals) provided to them.

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