Call drops: DoT asks Delhi govt to facilitate mobile towers

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New Delhi: With telecom operators blaming lack of mobile towers for the call drop menace, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has approached the Delhi government and the municipal bodies of the National Capital to allow towers.

Last week, leading telecom players sought intervention of the DoT and sector regulator Trai on the issue pertaining to sealing of mobile towers by three Municipal Corporations of Delhi, saying the “unilateral activity” was leading to increase in call drops.

The Telecom Ministry has also asked the Delhi unit of BJP, which controls MCD, to sort out issues related to de-sealing of existing towers and installation of new ones, sources said.

Telcos often complain that illegal sealing of mobile towers by the MCD is one of the reasons for call drops. The operators also claim that some resident welfare associations (RWAs) insist on removing towers due to unfounded fear of radiation.

According to sources, Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg met Delhi Chief Secretary yesterday evening and conveyed that mobile towers did not cause any radiation and their installation should be allowed on government buildings.

Recently, top six telecom operators of the country had said in a joint letter to the DoT, “It must be noted that with every 40 sites being sealed, there is an average of 20 percent increase in call drops. In the last two days itself, the MCD has gone ahead and sealed 16 sites across Delhi. In the last month, 70 sites have been sealed.”

Call drops during peak hours have increased about two-fold in one year across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also expressed concern over the call drop issue and asked the Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to take all possible measures to address the problem as soon as possible.

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