Amphan throws telecom services out of gear

Telecom services among operators were disrupted after the Super Cyclone Amphan spread to eastern India, as around 4,000 telecom towers were affected in Kolkata and West Bengal circles.

The disruption was mainly due to power failure and cable cutting in these circles, while 8,500 towers in West Bengal were running on diesel generator sets.

“About 70 percent of the sites are operating on diesel generator sets, which can work for only eight hours. Therefore, restoration of power is important especially in Kolkata, ”said TR Dua, Director General of the Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA).

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

On Thursday, Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash held a meeting with operators and infrastructure providers and associations, which asked Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to run 1,000 more sites in the next 24 hours.

Airtel War Room

“In view of the Amphan cyclone, Airtel has set up dedicated war rooms to monitor the network 24×7 in the affected areas. Field personnel will be available round the clock for repair and restoration work. All important parts, fiber, batteries and diesel have been stocked at key locations for fast response and minimal downtime, said an Airtel spokesperson.

“Provisions have also been made for quick deployment of temporary sites (sail on wheels) in case of damage to existing sites. Intra circle roaming, which will allow operators to collaborate and use each other’s networks when necessary, has been tested to ensure that Airtel users stay connected, ”he said.

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