Delhi seals 566 telecom towers impacting quality of mobile service

Telecom tower testing
Delhi municipal corporations have sealed 566 mobile towers despite depositing a fee of Rs 48 crore.

In addition, 1,150 mobile tower sites, which are ready for deployment, await permissions — impacting the business, development of a robust telecom infrastructure and addressing the growing the data needs of customers.

Delhi has around 11,500 mobile towers catering to 58 million phone subscribers in the capital of India. These towers are shared among TSPs with the average tenancy ratio of 2.2. “Delhi needs to double the tower count in the near future to address the growing need of data,” said Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA).

The Delhi tower policy, 2010 was challenged by the telecom industry in Delhi High Court imposing issues such as exorbitant permission fee of Rs. 5 lakhs for 5 years only and Rs. 1 lakh per service provider for sharing and restriction on locations etc.

In January 2017, Delhi High Court referred mediation settlement was signed by the industry with the municipal corporations offering provisions such as deemed approval for 30 days, appointment of nodal officers, documentation as per DoT guidelines, 2013 and fee part was also renegotiated to Rs 1 lakh to 2 lakhs and revised guidelines to be issued in line with DoT advisory guidelines, 2013.

“Non-implementation of mediation settlement and lack of comprehensive tower policy in Delhi is creating knotty situations for the development of a robust telecom infrastructure,” Tilak Raj Dua, director general of TAIPA, said.