Telcos now allowed to set up mobile towers on govt buildings

In an effort to reduce the problem of call drops in the country, the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) have agreed to let telcos install mobile towers on government buildings. It should provide some relief to network operators who have maintained the reason for the issue is due to lack of cell towers.

Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad detailed the initiative in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today. As per the information provided by him, the project would be permitted after structural safety checks and payment of the license fee by the telecom service providers (TSP) have been completed. He further said the facilities would be shared by all telecom operators.

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Prasad doesn’t entirely blame the communications industry for the call drop problem. He remarked that while businesses did have to improve their network infrastructure, anti-radiation campaigns were discouraging people from allowing installation of mobile towers. The movement has led to a shortage of such facilities. To counteract this, the DoT has begun engaging with the public to dispel their concerns.

According to PTI, TERM cells have been asked to conduct a special audit by Prasad in order to evaluate the scale of call drop incidences. The agency will review the quality of service in cities across India. All network operators would be subject to the assessment. The minister went on to specify the number of complaints received by the government this year relating to the issue.

Also See: New TRAI chief says call drops, net neutrality will be top priorities

Till June 30 2015, there were 211 grievances against Airtel and 169 against Vodafone. He stated that in addition to the current system of financial disincentives for operators who fail to meet the required benchmarks, DoT was in consultation with TRAI regarding compensation for dropped calls.