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Airtel, Hutch, Idea join hands to ease congestion during crises

Thomas K. Thomas

New model tried in Surat successfully


Three-in-one
A call from a subscriber of one network can be automatically routed through other networks depending on which network is less congested in a given area or time.
Airtel, Hutch and Idea have entered into an agreement to share the traffic load between them.

New Delhi , Aug. 10

Mobile network congestion during times of crises such as floods and bomb attacks could become a thing of the past. Mobile operators have found a way to make their networks interoperable with each other.

This means during any crisis, the mobile infrastructure of all the operators in a city work as a single unit irrespective of the brand.

So a call from an Airtel subscriber could be automatically routed through the network of Hutch or Idea depending on which network is less congested in a given area.

Experiment

The new model has been put in place by Airtel, Hutch and Idea Cellular in Surat, which has been experiencing severe floods.

The three operators have entered into an agreement to share the traffic load between them.

"The experiment has been successful to a large extent in keeping the congestion off a single network as the burden is being shared by all the three operators," said an Airtel executive. The experiment by the three operators has been lauded by the Department of Telecom, which now wants a similar arrangement in other parts of the country.

The mobile operators also said the Surat model may not be a single instance of co-operation, which was undertaken on humanitarian grounds.

The service providers have already decided to share infrastructure in a big way and interoperability will make mobile networks more robust.

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Cellular congestion getting worse: TRAI

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