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More call drops expected in Delhi: Tower infra association

Call drops in the national capital may become more frequent in the coming days as the city authorities have sealed more towers and are not giving permission for putting up new towers.

The Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) on Tuesday said municipal corporations in Delhi have sealed 566 mobile towers out of a total of 11,500 in the city, despite a fee deposit of ₹48 crore is lying with the civic bodies.

It said 11,500 towers in Delhi are not enough as they cater to more than 58 million wireless telecommunication subscribers and these towers are shared among operators with the average tenancy ratio of 2.2. About 1,150 mobile tower sites are ready for deployment, but they are still awaiting permissions, TAIPA said.

“Non-implementation of mediation settlement and lack of comprehensive tower policy in Delhi is creating knotty situations for the development of telecom infrastructure. It is high time that the telecom infrastructure need to be treated as the essential critical infrastructure like others such as roads, transport and water supplies as the formation of new Digital India solely depends upon the enhanced telecom infrastructure,” Tilak Raj Dua, Director-General, TAIPA said.

He said the telecom tower industry has held numerous meetings with municipal corporations of Delhi to discuss the implementation of mediation settlement and the issues industry have been facing for more than eight years now.

The Delhi Tower Policy, 2010, was challenged by the telecom industry in the Delhi High Court as it had imposing provisions such as exorbitant permission fee of ₹5 lakh for five years only and ₹1 lakh per service provider for sharing and restriction on locations.

“These avoidable delays in implementation of policies, notification of policies and suo-moto coercive actions on sealing the mobile towers leads to solemn issues such as slow internet speed, network congestion and call drops,” he said.

Therefore, there is an immediate need to notify a comprehensive mobile tower policy for enabling speedy installation of telecom infrastructure in Delhi, he added.

Source: The Hindu