Following the introduction of 4G-LTE only SIMs in India, several telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Jio and Idea Cellular has now knocked the doors of government for help with some issue witnessed in Mediatek handsets. To explain, when a 4G-LTE only SIM is inserted in Slot 2 (meant for 2G SIMs) of a Dual SIM enabled MediaTek smartphone, the flow of data transmission from Slot 1 is decreased drastically, 40 percent to be precise.
“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 per cent,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said in the letter to the secretary of the Department of Telecommunications and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Post this letter, COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) has now directed all the OEMs selling dual-SIM MediaTek smartphones to resolve the issue as soon as possible via an OTA update or else take down such devices from the market. If you are not aware, a 4G-LTE SIM is which only works on LTE network and not on 3G or 2G. At present, only Reliance Jio is providing 4G-LTE SIMs in India. So to explain with an example, if you put a Reliance Jio SIM in slot 2 (meant for 2G), the data speeds on your 4G enabled SIM in slot 1 would reduce significantly.
However, MediaTek seems to have addressed the issue and claim to work on it. In a statement to Economic Times, MediaTek India said – “We are working closely with all the telecom operators to get to the bottom of this. MediaTek’s solutions are globally compliant and completely adhere with global standard bodies-defines guidelines”
Further, COAI has now exhort TRAI to issue guidelines and standards “enforcing device and network standards such as radio attributes, cause-code handling procedures, minimum processor and memory requirements, etc.” (statement from the letter)
As per the COAI letter, there are about 35 percent of devices in today’s Indian smartphone market which runs on MediaTek chipsets and most of them are likely to face this issue.
Meanwhile, COAI has also ordered OEMs to flush off the 2G-only devices in the next six months. Smartphones with dual SIM functionality must have either 3G or 4G SIM slots to meet the industry standards, the report from COAI claimed.
In any case, if you own a smartphone running on a MediaTek chipset, do let us know your experience?