The TRAI on Monday said it is encouraging users to give their consent for capturing more information related to evaluation of mobile data speeds to help in better validation of results. It came out with a white paper on the methodology, approach and evaluation criteria for its MySpeed app, which measures mobile data speeds of telecom operators through crowd sourcing.  On rationale behind the paper, TRAI said, “Since its launch, stakeholders have sought more details about the working methodology of MySpeed app. Some of them have also raised queries relating to test results of the app and network level values being reported on the analytical portal of TRAI.” The mobile data speed issue has witnessed Bharti Airtel and RJio indulging in a bitter war of words in the recent past. Jio last year complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) about Bharti’s TV commercial claiming it as “officially” the fastest network. ASCI then asked Bharti to remove the ad, which the operator did.

The white paper concludes that collecting more data to validate test results like radio access technology (RAT), distance of user from the base transreceiver station (BTS), etc, can help provide more insights on speeds. The paper analyzed results for August-October 2017. “If more data elements with appropriate consent of user are collected then validation of test results may be better. If information related to user which helps to identify his/her home or work place locations or frequently travelled paths are available it may enable to present results to an user in more relevant manner. Encouraging users to extend their consent to capture wider set of data from their devices and interactive modes may be needed,” TRAI said. TRAI explained that theoretically maximum throughput value may depend upon the type of RAT — WCDMA, HSPA, LTE or on the quality of network signal available, which suggests that it is possible to achieve higher values with regards to a particular parameter.

Another point related with user’s consent is regarding the reporting of test findings. TRAI said, “To present results in more intuitive and intelligent manner, users may need to be more willing to consent for collecting relevant data from them.”  Another problem area is the number of test users on MySpeed app — presently its installed base is around 24 million users, of which only around 4 million are active users. “To increase more data points from different users at different locations and different points in time is also needed to improve confidence level of measurements. More data points from variety of users will also provide insights on new segments like device types, device operating system, etc,” it added. – Financial Express


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