The Department of Telecom should come out with rules on <g data-gr-id="51">installation</g> of mobile towers on government property in order to facilitate the process and reduce call drops, industry body Assocham has demanded.
Though <g data-gr-id="53">government</g> has the intention to provide access to its properties, clear plan and guidelines to operationalise it are needed, the chamber said. “Detailed implementation plans and procedures may kindly be notified for the availability of government properties for tower installations all over India,” Assocham Nation Council on Telecommunications Chairman T V Ramachandran said.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) and Urban Development Ministry have agreed <g data-gr-id="36">in-principle</g> to permit installation of mobile towers at government buildings, a move that is expected to reduce the problem of call drops. “Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has taken a historic initiative with Urban Development Ministry to allow <g data-gr-id="55">use</g> of government properties for installation of mobile towers. In the 20 odd years of <g data-gr-id="54">mobile</g> era in India, this is the first such bold step to advance connectivity,” Ramachandran said.
Telecom companies have faced protest from residents in various locations against <g data-gr-id="43">installation</g> of mobile towers as they fear radiation from towers can adversely impact their health.
Availability of government buildings for <g data-gr-id="45">installing</g> mobile towers comes as a big boon for telecom operators who have been in the line of fire for increasing call drops. The telecom veteran also said that DoT can extend similar supportive action for <g data-gr-id="44">location</g> of towers on defence land and buildings where the problem exists.
“We have licence and spectrum, then we should be allowed to set up towers to make use of (that) licence and spectrum. The DoT is right when it says operators should optimise their network but for an optimum network an optimum number of towers in optimum locations is required,” Ramachandran said. He said with the growth of subscribers, it is estimated that about one lakh towers would be needed over the next two years to meet coverage requirements.