Telcos can now install mobile towers on govt buildings

Aiming to address mobile call drop problems, the government has decided to allow telecom firms to install mobile towers on government buildings.

In a recent meeting between Department of Telecom and Ministry of Urban Development (UD) officials, the UD Ministry agreed to allow telecom firms to install towers on government buildings under their control subject to structural safety and payment of appropriate licence fee by telecom service providers (TSP),” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Such mobile towers should be a shared facility for all operators, he said, adding that to prevent call drops, installation of more towers is necessary.

Further, the minister said, the DoT has pro-actively engaged in allaying the apprehensions of adverse effects on health due to EMF radiations from mobile towers.

Prasad said MoUD and chief ministers of states have been addressed for providing single window clearances, space in government land and buildings for mobile sites, speedy right of way (RoW) clearances and ensuring 24x7 power. Prasad said that in order to assess the gravity of problem of call drops, the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (Term) cells have been asked to take up special audit to assess the coverage or quality of service in metro or capital cities of all mobile operators network in respect of key performance indicators.

“In addition to the existing provision of financial disincentives to TSPs for failing to meet the quality of service benchmark parameters prescribed by Trai...on the issue of compensating consumers for dropped calls, Trai’s views has been sought by DoT,” the minister added.
Service providers have complained to the government that it was not easy for them to find many spots to install mobile towers as private citizens are apprehensive of the EMF radiations. As a result of inadequate number of towers, companies could not address call drops issue.

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