NEW DELHI: Long power cuts due to grid failure or a natural calamity can cause disruption in mobile telephony services in Delhi NCR any time as use of generator sets for powering towers has been banned till March 15, telecom infrastructure players have cautioned.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee following a decision of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has imposed ban on generator sets running on petrol, kerosene or diesel till March 15, 2018. Telecom infrastructure industry body TAIPA said that though mobile towers are deployed with high-capacity batteries including fast charging to extend backup, these cannot run for long in case of long power outage due to grid failure or a natural calamity.
“Mobile towers cannot solely rely on battery backups which may lead to disruption in services in event of power supply failure,” TAIPA Director General Tilak Raj Dua told . He said that as the DPCC has allowed use of generators for essential services such as hospital, railways, airports and elevators, mobile infrastructure should also be included in the list of essential services.
“Mobile towers are also critical infrastructure enabling telecommunication services to connect people with various emergency services in any unforeseen situation and should be included in the list of essential services,” Dua said. He said that besides need to provide telecom services, telecom operators are required to comply with rules of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to maintain round the clock network availability with 99.95 per cent up time.
“In case telecom companies don’t comply with quality of service norms of TRAI, huge penalties are imposed on service providers,” Dua said. Under the new Quality of Service norms, effective October 1, telecom operators may face a maximum penalty of Rs 10 lakh for call drops which will now be measured at mobile tower level instead of telecom circle level.