COAI welcomes Delhi High Court’s order to deseal Mobile Towers in Delhi

New Delhi, India, October 14 2015: COAI, the apex body representing seven of the leading cellular operators in the country, welcomed the Delhi High Court’s order to deseal mobile towers for which operators have valid licenses. The Hon’ble Court ordered the three Municipal Corporations of South, East and North Delhi to deseal all such towers in their areas and sought an explanation from them on why such towers continued to remain sealed despite operators having paid the full licence fee. The Court directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to follow its earlier orders of 17th October 2014, 13th March 2015, and 1st May 2015, in “letter and spirit”.


COAI and AUSPI, representing the private telecom operators in the country, had moved the Court against the MCD for coercive actions that were being taken without due process, especially when the very issue whether MCD has jurisdiction or legislative competence to regulate towers is sub-judice before the Delhi High Court.


Welcoming the Court’s decision, Rajan S. Mathews, Director General of COAI said, “The decision of the High Court is encouraging and will provide some relief to all consumers suffering due to multiple call drops. Telephony and data connectivity have become an integral part of our daily lives, and play a very critical role in case of emergencies. The sealing of towers was leading to call drops, creating serious inconvenience for the consumers.”


Telecom operators have been battling mobile cell site closures over the past few months, which have contributed to the call drop menace. As per the report of the drive test conducted recently by TRAI in Delhi, 523 towers have been sealed in the city. Further, more than 122 towers having been sealed in the past two months alone by the Corporations under MCD, leading to interruptions in voice and data services across the city. The Hon’ble Telecom Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Department of Telecom have stated that mobile towers are integral to cellular services, and the Central Government has asked all states to allow mobile towers on government buildings within their jurisdiction to check the problem of call drops.


Sealing of the towers directly affect Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of a Digital India, for providing Internet connectivity and Broadband for All, and for facilitating the development of Smart Cities. Mobile broadband provides the platform through which the Government’s vision of Digital India will be realised and crucial services such as m-governance, m-health, m-education and m-banking would be delivered, to enable financial and socio-economic inclusion. A robust telecom infrastructure will, therefore, be key to achieving the telecom and broadband objectives of the Government.

© News Service

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