Telecom services limp back

Telecom services  limp back

 Telecom companies are struggling to restore services in flood-hit Kashmir Valley with several places remaining inundated. 

To revive the communication links, the Army has distributed nine additional satellite phones and 100 mobile sets to civilian officials. 

Moreover, 10 STD booths are planned to be set up and 30 generator sets with mobile charging stations are being airlifted from Chandigarh to Srinagar. 

Private operator Aircel is being assisted to revive mobile services from its tower at Barzula and satellite connectivity is being provided by airlifting the base transmitting station of BSNL from Kargil to Srinagar.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked the state-run telecom firm to arrange satellite phones in several places to enable stranded people to speak to their kin.  

BSNL has also set up five satellite terminals in Srinagar, including at the residence of chief minister, Raj Bhavan and director general of police. 

It will set up another five terminals on Thursday at locations specified by the state government.

All the telecom companies have deputed teams to restore network connectivity and ensure early resumption of services in all the places, department sources said.

Telecom services in flood-hit Kashmir Valley are slowly getting restored with BSNL resuming connectivity to 7,000 landline phones and 14 mobile towers in Srinagar city, said a DoT official.

BSNL has set up two PCOs at the Srinagar airport where people can make free calls.Airtel will install four more VSAT terminals in strategic locations as directed by rescue teams for public access to Wi-Fi.

Airtel has set up free calling stations at various relief camps across the state and free talk time worth 50 minutes has been credited to all Airtel mobile customers in Kashmir.Idea Cellular said it is also auto-crediting Rs 12 into the accounts of customers with low balance in Srinagar region, to ensure that such people are able to make emergency calls if stranded.

Bharti Airtel’s network has been restored in Jammu, Kargil, Ladakh and Leh. Airtel said inter-operator roaming has been configured – thus allowing customers to make calls by latching onto other networks in areas where Airtel network is yet to be restored.Aircel is providing connectivity to people through its 3G sites and is also working to restore 2G sites.

State-run BSNL said 14 base transceiver stations (BTS) or mobile towers are functioning in Srinagar, providing connectivity to 15,000 mobile phones while 7,000 landline connections and 2,000 broadband connections are also working.

The operator said another 40 BTS will start functioning by 10 pm with restoration of another mobile exchange.

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