States should follow Kerala Mobile Tower Policy model: COAI

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has asked states to follow Kerala Mobile Tower Policy model which was adopted by Kerala government on 15th March, 2014.

The Indian telecom industry has welcomed the Kerala government’s decision to accept the central guidelines for clearance for installation of mobile towers in the state and said that the other state governments can take a leaf out of the Kerala government’s initiative of adopting the central guidelines in totality.

Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI said, “The move by the Kerala government is a step in the right direction for the development of  ICT sector. India has adopted stringent safety norms for emissions from Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) which is one-tenth of the international standards.”

Ashok Sud, secretary general, Association of United Service Providers of India (AUSPI) said, “The decision of the Kerala government’s step is a welcome move and will go a long way in further development of the telecom and ICT industry in the state.”

Umang Das, director general, TAIPA said, “Telecom towers are important infrastructure units of mobile communications and the country must have a unified policy as given in the Central norms. Adoption of Central norms will definitely encourage the development of the ICT sector in the area.”

The Kerala Government has adopted the guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in its entirety for the state through its order dated 15 March,
2014 and superceeds  all earlier orders in this regard.

The DoT had advised all state governments to take suitable action for the installation of mobile towers by the telecom service providers (TSPs) in line with the guidelines issued by DoT in this regard on 1 August 2013.

Accordingly, the Kerala government has accorded sanction to the TSPs to install new towers, as per the new guidelines, in accordance with the guidelines issued by DoT. The order regarding the formulation of state and district committees to address public grievances and a nominal one-time fee for issuing permission for installation of towers will be issued separately, from time to time.

The DoT guidelines were adopted after a series of interactions with various stake holders, including state governments, civil society interest groups and Industry. The guidelines addresses all the issues related to cellphone operators, infrastrcutrue providers, state governments and TERM Cell of DoT.

Recently, DoT had advised the state governments to consult the TERM Cells of each circle while formulating tower guidelines, so that the  provisions of the central guidelines are adhered to.

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