Choked phones: efforts to end tower struggle | india | Hindustan Times
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Choked phones: efforts to end tower struggle

india Updated: Feb 03, 2010 01:00 IST
Manoj Gairola

Is the tower struggle in mobile telephony making your handset go dead? Help is coming from the telecom regulator, which has proposed new rules to modernise the system. But that could take a while.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wants to do away with the large number of towers dotting metros such as Delhi and Mumbai — the kind that has led to location-based conflicts with authorities that caused call drops and network problems in Noida.

The regulator is thinking of a mandatory rule for service providers to use technology and network architecture in a manner that would minimise the number of towers. “We are contemplating this and will issue a consultation paper,” TRAI chairman J.S. Sarma told HT.

“In some countries, towers aren’t visible. Here, they are an eyesore,” said B. K. Syngal, former chairman, Tata Communications. In Europe, electric poles in residential areas double up as towers, he added.

Sources said TRAI is mulling whether low-power base stations and optic fibre cables can reduce the need for towers.