Network congestion increases in city after Reliance & Aircel fiasco
Troubled by continual network congestion, Aircel customers in Guwahati are facing a tough time and have begun porting their numbers to other telecom companies; leading to a rise in network congestion as there are less towers in the city.
After Aircel customers have started porting out their phone numbers to other networks, mobile phone customers are facing huge network congestion in Guwahati.
A Vodafone customer said, “While calling any number we have to dial twice or thrice to get connected, there is an unprecedented congestion in the network.”
Similarly other cellular customers are also complaining about network congestion.
After Reliance Communication terminated its services, two lakh customers in Guwahati shifted to different networks. Now five lakh Aircel customers have been stranded with no networks, hence all of them are gradually shifting to different networks.
A source in Airtel said that 80% of Aircel customers are opting to shift to Airtel’s services and the sales executives’ monthly targets are getting completed within few days of a week.
Similarly BSNL sources claim that even they are receiving customers in huge numbers from Aircel.
The customer base of these telecom players may be increasing but are the number of towers too increasing in Guwahati?
A source in a telecom company talking to G Plus said, “There is no place to erect new towers in Guwahati.” He said that people have a notion that because of the radiation of the tower people’s health gets affected and it also has an adverse impact on trees and plants.
One tower has a capacity of 4TRX, which is able to provide uninterrupted services to around 60 customers when they are simultaneously talking over the phone. If the number exceeds then there is a problem in the call traffic leading to a congestion which ultimately results in call drops and slow data speed. The source informed that the company from time to time increases the capacity of the tower by upgrading the software, and converts the capacity to 8TRX. But, around 150 towers of the same company remain with the capacity of 4TRX.
Another telecom company source claimed that the towers are getting optimised but the process has just started. “After all the towers are optimised there will be uninterrupted services,” he claimed.
Aircel likely to end services by March
Aircel is likely to end its services by March end, revealed an expert of the telecom industry.
“Aircel has recently filed for bankruptcy as the company is facing troubled times in the highly financially stressed industry,” said the expert.
The filing was made in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai, media reported.
In a scenario when the senior officials of the telecom company (Aircel) are not commenting on the issue, the experts in the industry feel the company will end its services by the end of March.
A telecom industry source said, “Aircel is set to end its services as many of its employees are already hunting for new jobs,” adding that the company is in a debt of around Rs 15000 crore.
The network of Aircel is barred because the vendors have disconnected the services because of non-payment of dues.
A top official of Aircel has also sent an email to its employees asking them to be prepared for tougher times.
As an emergency measure, intra circle roaming arrangements with BSNL was made to help the customers, but even BSNL is mulling to end the services, sources said.
Last year, Aircel and Reliance Communications had planned to join hands but the deal did not materialise, industry expert said.
However, the employees refuted all rumours of closure saying that they are getting their salaries on time and hence they are still working.
“It is just that the network is disrupted for a few days due to technical issues, which would be resolved soon,” said an employee working with Aircel for the last 10 years, adding that they have not been served with any notice about closure of the company.
Customers face tough time reaching out to service executives
An irked telecom customer talking to G Plus said that he recharged his mobile in an offer for Rs 399 where he was promised that he will receive 1 GB 4G data every day and free outgoing calls for 84 days. After a few days he noticed that on some days he is not able to use the data and when he tried two customer service numbers (198 and 121) he is given various options in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) but he never gets an option to talk to the customer service executive to whom he could lodge a complaint with. He said, “There are options in the IVR saying mobile data related complaints but I am not able to mention what issues I am facing.”
G Plus team talked to a source in the customer service department of a telecom company, who informed that all the complaints can be registered in the IVR itself and as there are huge queues in the call centre it might be that certain times the executives are busy and customers need to wait but the customers can certainly talk to an executive if they want to. He said that people should have patience. Similarly many Vodafone customers also complained that even they are not able to connect to the customer service executives.
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