Cellphone operators shut down 200 towers

Cellphone operators shut down 200 towers

Rthan HC has banned their installation at schools, clinics

Private cellphone operators have decided to shut down 199 mobile towers across the state in compliance with the Rajasthan High Court order banning their installation on or near schools, hospitals and jails, a move which will affect quality of services.

On August 31, the High Court had told telecom operators to remove all cellphone towers near schools, hospitals and jails within 15 days. Though the decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, it refused to stay the HC order on September 7.

With these mobile towers shut down, cellular service quality of several lakhs of users in 40 cities of the state will be affected.

Users to be affected

According to Airtel CEO Sudipto Choudhary and Idea CEO Unnipam Krishnan, around 25 lakh users will be affected after towers in schools are shut down.

The mobile towers of seven telecom firms — Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, MTS, Tata Docomo and Idea — will be removed from schools, announced the Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI). But BSNL users won’t be affected by the decision.

Officials said the range of a call will be affected due to shortage of towers, and it will take 30 to 90 days to replace the towers on suitable buildings.

Mobile operators are planning to shut down 500 additional towers located near jails and hospitals.

According to cellular service providers, villages and small towns served by a single tower will face a complete breakdown in services if the tower concerned is removed.

“Services will be hit in Vajirpur, Anandpur, Raini, Chainpur, Chainpura, Shahpura, Hansalay, Saipura, Bhatubhai and around 40 villages,” COAI stated.