Major telecom operators raise ‘arbitrary’ tower sealing

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) The CEOs of major telecom service providers in India Friday raised, with the telecom department and telecom regulator, the issue of “widespread and arbitrary” sealing of telecom towers by three municipal corporations of Delhi.

“As we committed in the meetings (on call drops), we have put and will continue to invest in base stations and electronics in 2G, 3G and 4G to provide good customer experience. Lot of resources have been put into optimization as well,” they said in the letter (a copy of which is with IANS) to Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R.S.Sharma.

“We also initiated discussion with local MCD authorities to find resolution to tower sealing. However, while the discussions are underway and there is litigation in progress, the MCD continues to seal sites on a continuous basis.

“Hence we are constrained to bring to your notice that despite your good efforts and intervention to assist the operators deal with the issue of call drops, this continuing unilateral activity of the Delhi municipalities of sealing our cell sites will cause increase in call drops and inconvenience to consumers,” it added.

Recently the operators have met the TRAI chief over call drops.

Incessant call drops have been a cause for concern for long time. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised this issue and asked stakeholders to resolve it.

“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. Similarly, sites have been shut down in Mumbai also due to arbitrary actions by municipal corporation and RWAs. In the last year alone, about 1,700 sites have been shut down all over India,” said the operators.

“We request that all the sites which have been sealed in the last few weeks be de-sealed to ensure call drop issue is immediately improved,” the letter said.

The joint letter was signed by Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal, Idea Cellular CEO Himanshu Kapania, Sistema Shyam Teleservices CEO Sergey Savchenko, Reliance Communications CEO – consumer business Gurdip Singh, Tata Teleservices managing director N. Srinath and Vodafone India CDEO and MD Sunil Sood.

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