The operator will install 160 towers across three coastal districts
With the commissioning of over 160 towers in three coastal districts in the current financial year, the Dakshina Kannada Telecom district hopes to improve enhanced coverage and speedier mobile phone connectivity.
In Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts, the towers will come up with a newer technology where both 2G and 3G connections will be handled by single equipment imported from China and mounted atop the towers, according to Principal General Manager of the telecom district Y.C. Mishra. Under the existing technology separate equipment handle them.
Mr. Mishra told The Hindu on Monday that 118 towers would come up in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi with 60 per cent of them planned for the former and the remaining for Udupi district. In addition, 43 towers will be set up in Uttara Kannada. The equipment for erecting the tower is expected to reach here in a month.
He said the areas where BSNL signals were not reaching — the dark zones — and the towers that were handling too many calls would be among the parameters to decide the location of the new towers.
The areas, where high-rise buildings or mountains disrupted signals, would be taken into account.
The more advanced equipment handling both 2G and 3G calls would come with certain value additions. Mr. Mishra declined to divulge the details as yet. He said with the coverage of dark zones and enhanced services, the BSNL was hoping to boost its revenue. “We have lot of hopes,” he said and added that this expansion was part of the seventh phase of GSM services of the BSNL.
All of the areas referred to by Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel during a recent meeting for poor mobile connectivity would be addressed as part of the expansion.
Mr. Kateel had sought BSNL towers at Shibaje and Shirtady in Belthangady taluk, Madavu and Kapko in Puttur taluk and Kollamogaru in Sullia taluk, and Puttige near Moodbidri.
Mr. Mishra clarified that the BSNL had, as a matter of policy, decided not to print telephone directories any longer. With most customers having mobile phones, telephone directories had become redundant. With consumers having more choices and not remaining loyal, the directories would become obsolete within a short time after their publication, he said. In addition, discontinuation of publishing of the huge books containing large number of telephone numbers would augur well for the forests by saving on papers.
Customers could call 197 for directory information, he said. The decision to discontinue publishing directories was not for economic reasons. The BSNL, though it outsourced publication of the books, was earning as much as it spent by way of advertisements.
However, stopping of publication had meant that the work of some three or four staff members could be utilised for other work.