Amid rising instances of call drops, sector regulator Trai has convened a meeting of CEOs…
Telecom industry on Monday blamed “delay” in getting clearances from the authorities for installation of mobile towers and increasing data usage by subscribers for the call drop problem.
Telecom industry body COAI said that due to delay in getting clearances from the Centre and the state authorities, they could set up only 20,000-25,000 towers in last two years against requirement of 1 lakh sites.
The industry body also ascribed call drop issue to heavy usage of data on mobile phones in the “absence” of alternative infrastructure to support growing data demand.
“The significant problem is the approval (for towers) …it takes about 9-10 months, six months from Centre and 3 months from local authorities in states, in getting approval for putting up towers,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews told reporters here today.
“If you look at last two years, we required one lakh towers nationally and we were able to put up 20,000-25,000 towers,” he said.
His comments come soon after a stern warning by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to operators on the call drop issue. The Minister yesterday said that it was not his “job to find towers” and the companies must improve their networks, or face serious action.
Noting that inadequate spectrum was also posing problems, Mathews also pointed out that heavy fee along with rising rental for towers in the states was a cause of concern for the telecom industry.
“You look at the local municipalities which are cash strapped and always look for raising resources and this industry is their prime candidate,” he said, adding that the industry had to shell out one-time fee ranging from Rs 1 lakh to 5 lakh per tower, besides monthly rent and maintenance expenditure.
However, he rejected the argument of danger to health by electromagnetic field.