Today, if you do not want to run up a massive mobile phone bill making international calls, there are many different ways of calling someone—Skype, FB messenger and WhatsApp—to name a few. What is common to all of them is Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology.
However, when we are communicating with our loved ones, even small issues like a sketchy connection, a dropped voice or video call, and the subsequent dial-back, become a huge bother.
Well, VOIP calls are all set to get crystal clear in audio and video, because telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) are going to sync with the Indian Standard Time.
This ‘time standardisation’ with the IST ‘timestamp’ will lead to better efficiency and also help security agencies clamp down on cybercrime by identifying subscribers by tracing their IP addresses and correlating different digital transactions.
As of now, all Telecom Service Providers and Internet Service Providers use different sources for time reference, including GPS signals from the USA’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). This makes tracing ISPs difficult, as there is a few seconds difference from the actual IST.
Speaking to the Times of India, DK Aswal, the Director of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physics Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) stated that the chief purpose of this synchronisation is to help security agencies overcome the issues they face, in analysing and correlating cybercrime events.
Two government agencies, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), and CSIR-NPL have signed a MoU, and the latter happens to be the keeper of IST.
These two agencies will set up Time Synchronisation Centres (TSCs) for ‘time stamping’ that will be done in 2 phases. Four metro cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata—will be covered in the first phase and the remaining 18 Licensed Service Areas (LSAs) will be covered the second phase.
The accuracy of time depends on the distance between the TSC (reference source), and the location of the TSPs/ISPs centres.
The CSIR-NPL, incidentally, has the responsibility to generate, maintain and disseminate the Indian Standard Time. The body had signed a MoU, with the Information Dissemination Services Pvt Ltd (IFR), so that the latter can provide accurate IST information, in real-time. This was intended for the purpose of synchronising the clocks of the country with IST.
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This move will increase punctuality in public life and in the long term, have a positive impact on development and the economy as the nation moves towards e-governance and smart cities.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)