‘We need 800,000 public WiFi hotspots’
Voice&Data: What steps TAIPA is taking regarding call drop issues in India? Please elaborate. Tilak Raj Dua:
One of the reasons for call drop is unavailability of new sites for installation mobile towers in a region due to several restrictive conditions placed by the authorities. Inadequate number and location of cell sites leads to customer inconvenience and call drops.
Shutting down of operational cell sites lead to serious connectivity issues for the customers that results in coverage gaps, call drops, network congestion, poor QoS, increase in the overall cost and complexity of telecom network. Also, installations of roof-top towers in the residential as well as critical business district areas is a huge challenge due to public outcry on alleged EMF issues by vested interests including neighbours, etc.
Further, there are issues related to EMF from BTSs mounted on telecom towers that often arises from misplaced public perception. The RWAs, etc currently restrict tower installations in the residential areas due to perceived health hazard issues from EMF radiations which is contrary to the research findings of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Industry has taken several steps and installed no. of BTS. The status of BTS has gone from 1,157,649 BTSs in March 2016 to 1,345,470 BTSs in October 2016. Other key initiatives include:
Sharing Mobile Network Infrastructure has emerged as a key trend
Deployment of DAS/IBS and Low Power BTS
Innovation in Tower deployment such as use of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) telecom towers & portable masts/ towers
Engagement with various State Governments on alignment of state policies with DoT Advisory Guidelines
Awareness workshop with citizen groups, RWAs, Doctors, Academia and Govt.