Amphan throws telecom services out of gear

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on May 22, 2020

About 4,000 telecom towers in Kolkata, West Bengal impacted due to power outage


Telecom services across operators were disrupted after the super cyclone Amphan battered eastern India, as power outages impacted nearly 4,000 telecom towers in Kolkata and West Bengal circles.

The disruptions were mainly due to power failures and cable cuts in these circles, while 8,500 towers in West Bengal were running on diesel generator sets.

“About 70 per cent of the sites are working on diesel generator sets, which can work only for eight hours at a stretch. So, restoration of power is critical, especially in Kolkata,” Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) Director-General, TR Dua, said.

“Road blocks are also making it difficult for technicians to reach many sites,” he said, adding that connectivity is expected to be restored by Friday evening.

On Thursday, Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash held meetings with operators and infrastructure providers and associations, who also asked Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to get 1,000 sites up and running in the next 24 hours.

Airtel War room

“In the wake of the Amphan cyclone, Airtel has set up dedicated war rooms to monitor networks 24x7 in impacted areas. Field personnel for repair and restoration work will be available round-the-clock. All critical spares, fibre, batteries and diesel have been stocked at key locations for faster response and minimum downtime,” an Airtel spokesperson said.

“Provisions have also been made for quick deployment of temporary sites (cell on wheels) in case of damage to existing sites. Intra Circle Roaming, which will allow operators to collaborate and use each other’s networks wherever required, has been tested to ensure that Airtel users stay connected,” he added.

Published on May 22, 2020

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