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Gujarat tower policy not conducive for holistic development of telecom infrastructure, says TAIPA

January 03, 2018

According to the Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), the Gujarat tower policy dated October 3, 2012 regulates the provisioning of 4G services by laying fibre and erecting poles rather than focusing on the holistic development of telecom infrastructure through ground based towers, rooftop towers, in-building solutions and Wi-Fi solutions etc. Further, the policy levies several fees such as annual renewal fee and security deposit among others. In addition, charges for the laying of optical fibre cables (OFC) range from Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 per metre, in stark comparison to Rs 1,000 per km for laying OFC and Rs 10,000 per km for deploying telecom towers outlined under the Indian Telegraph right of way (RoW) rules on November 15, 2016.

According to TAIPA, the RoW policy has enabling features such as no restriction on location of telecom towers, single window clearance mechanism, defined time-period for approvals, appointment of nodal officers, nominal administrative fees and deemed approvals among others which extensively supports the Digital India mission. Therefore, state authorities need to align their existing policies with the recent RoW rules, which will eventually help realising the dream of Digital India.

Commenting on the issue, Tilak Raj Dua, Director General, TAIPA said, “Gujarat needs to formulate a tower policy that is aligned with RoW rules issued by the central government in order to ensure seamless tower installation across the state irrespective of any particular technology. This will address issues such as call drops, network outage and connectivity gaps etc. which are faced by the subscribers due to the number of limitations imposed on the mobile tower installation, hindering rollout of essential critical telecom infrastructure across the state.”

 
 

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