Telecom companies face a big challenge to keep India Inc connected

Telecommunications companies face unprecedented challenge, other than COVID-19 – to provide seamless Internet services for smoother homework for India Inc.

In an effort to do so at available capacity, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea said they were doing everything to keep the situation under control.

The companies have activated a comprehensive pandemic response plan with the risk mitigation protocols required to keep the networks running because telecommunications are an essential service.

We learn that Airtel has a full-fledged emergency plan in place to deal with any event. This includes quarantining all of the company’s network operations centers and critical call centers, among others.

The company has enabled each site to operate in a distributed and virtual manner.

Each team was also split in two to reduce the number of people on site and make the workplace safer.

The company has started the process of monitoring and managing networks from different locations in case a geography is not accessible for some time.

It has also enabled homework for its employees through secure connections.

“Airtel’s networks are in business continuity planning mode and are perfectly prepared to meet any requirement. Our mobile, fixed broadband, DTH and fiber networks are fully tailored to serve customers in the emerging scenario, ”said Randeep Sekhon, Director of Technology (CTO), Bharti Airtel.

All operations run smoothly, with more than 80% of employees working from home transparently, he said.

A comprehensive pandemic response plan with the required risk mitigation protocols has been activated while ensuring the continuity of mission critical processes for our networks to function like telecommunications is an essential service, added Sekhon.

“We are strictly following government instructions while operating the telecommunications network without interruption as an essential service during this crisis,” a Vodafone Idea spokesperson told Business Standard.

Vodafone Idea has a litany of flexible work policies that allow for flexible work schedules, working from home and working from different locations in the organization. “This has allowed us to react quickly to the current situation by allowing our staff to adopt alternative forms of work. The majority of our office staff work remotely from their homes, ”he said.

The company is also reviewing its business continuity plans in all operations.

“Our centralized network monitoring facilities, spread across multiple sites like Pune and Hyderabad, have been prepared for any type of emergency evacuation due to the corona threat in a particular building,” said Vodafone Idea.

“Adequate arrangements have been made to provide resources, allowing homework for the technical teams working in these facilities. It is about activating uninterrupted services for our customers 24/7, he added.

All of the company’s corporate services continue to be monitored through our own operations centers and network operations to ensure business continuity, said Vodafone Idea.

The spokesperson added: “We are constantly monitoring traffic and are confident of managing the growing demand for voice and data services during the lockout period.”

On Monday, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) asked the Center to task top players like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Zee 5 to take steps to ease the pressure on the network infrastructure. This pressure is due to the increased demand for online video streaming, amidst lockdown and quarantine measures.

The COAI also approached the streaming platforms, warning them against an increase in digital use, which is putting a strain on the network infrastructure of telecommunications operators. He urged companies to take urgent measures such as temporarily switching HD (high definition) streaming to SD (standard definition), removing bandwidth-consuming ads and pop-ups and replacing them with ads. public on virus awareness.

In a letter to the secretary of the telecommunications department, the COAI said: “Due to lock-in and quarantine measures in various regions of the country, a sudden increase in demand for online video streaming is also expected.”

The COAI said that during this crucial period, it is absolutely essential that streaming platforms cooperate with telecommunications providers in order to manage the patterns of traffic distribution that could jeopardize the network infrastructure “at a time when this is required for various critical requirements. “

According to some sources, data consumption in the past few days has increased by 15 to 20% and HD data consumption requires 6 to 7 times higher bandwidth.

As a result, companies asked the government to intervene and forced people to switch to standard definition, as countries like the United States have done in the current scenario.

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