Days of low internet speed on mobile and broadband networks could be soon over. The government has started the process providing a boost to the minimum mandated internet speed from existing 512kbps to at least 2Mbps and more.

Arura Sundararajan, telecom secretary mentioned that the government was aware of the slow internet speed experienced by the internet users in many parts of the country.

Internet speeds are nowhere close to the numbers promised by companies in 3G and 4G data packs and advertisements. And, the issue is critical as India prepares for the rollout of 5G services as well as a host other applications aimed around internet-of-things (loT).

“We are very slow. While we have done a lot on (providing internet) access, we have not been able to actually deliver the quality of service that is required,” Sundararajan informed.

The telecom secretary informed that India needs faster speed in the wake of the gradual transformation of the country to a digital economy. These include initiatives such as smart cities, digital India programmes, efforts on digital payments, and 5G.

On being asked whether 2 Mbps which is also being pushed forward by TRAI will be sufficient for digital transformation, Sundararajan said, “2 Mbps is the basic minimum. We should definitely mandate this. If at all, it should be higher than that. It cannot be lower than that.”

The matter of slower internet speed has been a painful experience for the majority of mobile customers, especially when download speed for videos and other such services is nowhere near satisfactory level. All this is happening at a time when telecom companies are rolling out faster 4G networks across the country, a move that has gained pace since the launch of services by Reliance Jio in September last year.

“Their main concerns in this regard were limited availability of spectrum per operator in 2G/3G bands; low coverage zones such as basements, high rise buildings, tunnels; and variations due to external factors such as subscriber’s device quality and type, number of subscribers browsing the data services, peak/off-peak time, transmission bandwidth, website behaviour etc.,” Trai said.