Covid 19: Airtel asks operators to join hands to provide uninterrupted services

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 23, 2020

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Bharti Airtel has suggested that all telecom operators join hands to provide uninterrupted services, as towers in certain circles could be shut down following a lockdown across the country.

The operator has suggested invoking the Standard Operating Procedure-17 (SOP-17) protocol for responding to disasters, under which they will function like a unified network. Under the protocol, issued by the Department of Telecommunications, service providers have to put in place various measures, including intra-circle roaming (ICR) agreements.

“This will be particularly relevant where a site is shut or where the telecom service provider is not able to manage the up time, so that, we can collectively ensure that the services are not interrupted,” Airtel said in a note to all the other operators.

The New Delhi-based firm has also nominated its Chief Technology Officer Randeep Sekhon as a single point of contact for the initiative.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented situation. All efforts are being made on the ground by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19.... It is incumbent on the telecom industry to ensure continuous and uninterrupted availability of telecom and internet services, which are essentially the backbone of the digital infrastructure,” it said.

“It is therefore of paramount importance that at this crucial juncture, we come together as an industry to serve the nation and prepare ourselves for any kind of exigency,” the note added.

Published on March 23, 2020

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