The companies can also put up towers to improve mobile services in Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone area.
New Delhi: In order to improve mobile services and address call drop problems, private companies will reportedly be allowed to install towers in the buildings belonging to the Union government, New Delhi Municipal Council, Postal department and defence establishment.
The ministry of urban development has agreed in principal to allow installation of mobile towers on government buildings subject to structural safety and payment of license fee by the telecom service providers. These mobile towers will reportedly be a shared facility for all service providers. The government agencies and local bodies had earlier refused to give permission to service providers to install their towers in their buildings on security grounds. A Parliamentary standing committee on call drops, headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, has recommended that department of telecom and mobile service providers should urgently take up the issue with the postal department and other central ministries so as to enable the telecom operators to speedily set up towers in their respective buildings. The report said that the defence wing has issued a detailed policy guideline for installation of Cell-On-Wheels (CoW) in cantonment areas. It said that 61 locations in Delhi cantonment area have been identified in a joint survey conducted by DoT, defence estate, service providers and other defence authorities. The tender, which has already been opened on January 04, 2017, is under evaluation. The defence wing initiated a cabinet note to lease out defence land for installation of mobile towers on all-India basis to improve the quality of service and address the problems related to call drops. Like defence wing, postal department had framed guidelines last year for use of its buildings for BTS-installations. It is learnt that service providers had raised concerns and held a meeting on January 5, 2017 for certain modifications which are now under active consideration of the postal department.
The report said that setting up towers in government buildings would definitely prove to be of considerable help in improving network performance further, as in many cities, government buildings and defence areas are the only places where towers can be set up. The committee noted that a majority of government departments do not allow installation of base transceiver station as a matter of policy and some due to security concerns. Taking a note of not allowing government building for mobile towers, the report said that when government department/agencies themselves are resisting setting up of towers in their premises or building due to various reasons, it leaves little scope by way of setting an example for the resident welfare associations to allow setting up of towers in the residential areas.
“Setting up of towers in government building helps a lot in network planning and site addition, especially in congested areas is good from electro magnetic field (EMF) perspective, which eventually leads to better quality of service,” it said.
The committee noted that sealing of towers by local bodies of States/ UTs is acting as one of the hindrances to uninterrupted services by TSPs leading to poor network coverage and call drops in the country. A meeting was also held with local bodies of Delhi and Mumbai to resolve the issue. The report said that telecom service providers are facing challenges because different states have come up with their own tower policies, which are non-uniform and impose restrictions relating to the setting up of towers near schools, hospitals, colleges and jails.