As the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) awaits a reply from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on a letter claiming that some 4G/LTE smartphones slow down network quality owing to sub-standard chipsets, leading smartphone maker Xiaomi has denied any such quality issue with its devices.
In the letter sent to TRAI last week, COAI said that on the basis of tests conducted by individual telecom operators, some 4G/LTE devices, especially those housing MediaTek processors, deteriorated the network quality.
The letter mentioned devices from Lenovo, Xiaomi, Motorola (a Lenovo brand), Oppo, Micromax, Samsung and Intex, among others.
“The analysis in the report specifically points out a degradation in network quality of service (QoS) for handsets that have a MediaTek chipset. All our smartphones are shipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors in India and are optimised for India-specific bands for the most efficient usage of 4G/LTE,” a Xiaomi India spokesperson told IANS on Wednesday.
Lenovo, however, refused to comment. Other smartphone makers were given calls which went unanswered.
The devices that went through tests were Lenovo A7000 and K4 Note, Xiaomi Redmi 3S and Note 3, Motorola Moto G4, Oppo A35 and Samsung Galaxy J7, among others.
“TRAI is yet to respond to our letter. Neither has Department of Telecommunications (DoT) got back to us. TRAI has informally asked us to submit some additional information on the testing and indicated that they would like to call an industry meeting to discuss the matter,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, told IANS.
According to the COAI letter, “it is estimated that MediaTek is present in more than 35 percent of smartphones in the country”.
“It was observed that placing a SIM (which has only 4G/LTE capability) in the number 2 slot (2G-only) significantly deteriorates the throughput of any other operator’s 4G SIM present in the main slot, by as much as 40 percent,” the letter further read.
The analysis so far points to a chipset-specific implementation by MediaTek. All the devices that have the MediaTek chipsets are likely to have the issue, it said.
In the letter, COAI urged the authorities to mandate an Over The Air (OTA) update within four weeks’ time to fix the issue. “The devices to be taken off the market in case of non-compliance,” the letter read.
This suggests that the glitch may be software-related and not a hardware one.
“We have asked the government to ensure that quality phones enter the Indian market and we also want consumers to be careful when they purchase a phone,” Mathews told IANS.