DoT permits intra-circle roaming in cyclone-hit districts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa

According to the IMD, Diu reported wind speed of 133 kilometer per hour at 9.30 pm on May 17
Last Updated 18 May 2021, 11:54 IST

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has allowed telcos to make intra-circle roaming arrangement in cyclone Tauktae-hit districts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu for 24 hours, a senior government official said Tuesday.

The DoT has allowed ICR, which allows telecom operators to use each others network, in Gujarat's Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Gir, Somnath, Junagadh, Valsad and Navsari, and also in districts of Daman and Diu, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, telecom secretary Anshu Prakash told PTI.

"We have allowed ICR in districts where more than 10 per cent telecom networks have been damaged from the cyclone," Prakash said.

He said that ICR has been allowed in Raigad, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra as well as in north and south Goa.

"We will review the situation this evening and decide on further action," Prakash said.

The landfall process of the eye of Tauktae, which hit the Gujarat coast in Saurashtra region between Diu and Una, ended around midnight, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

According to the IMD, Diu reported wind speed of 133 kilometer per hour at 9.30 pm on May 17.

Industry body COAI, whose members include Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea etc, said that its members are working closely with the DoT, infrastructure providers (IPs) and local state authorities to minimize the impact of cyclone Tauktae on telecom networks.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general SP Kochhar said that intra-circle roaming has been initiated so that mobile phone users can easily switch between telecom operators in case their native service provider is affected.

"Priority Call Routing is helping government officials to coordinate and execute restoration work. We are taking every possible step to mitigate Cyclone Tauktae's impact on the people in ...Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa and Diu to ensure that the adverse impact of this cyclone is minimal and the disruption in telecommunications and internet services caused by the cyclone is restored at the earliest," Kochhar said.

All telecom operators and equipment companies have deployed extra workforce on the ground to protect and restore telecom infrastructure, he said.

To cater to the disruption in mobile towers, telecom service providers have "deployed additional Cell on Wheels (CoW) to support impacted telecom sites. In the absence of grid supply, adequate diesel and battery backup at telecom sites is ensuring continuity of services. Close coordination with the NDMA and their teams in the field is being done", Kochhar said.

(Published 18 May 2021, 11:54 IST)

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