People in Karnataka are facing call drops, network outage and connectivity due to lack of mobile towers in the state and absence of comprehensive policy to install them, according to industry body Taipa.
According to Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (Taipa), the state currently has around 29,000 mobile towers and needs to double these numbers in order to address the growing demands to address and embrace future technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality and Artificial intelligence etc.
"Issues such as call drops, network outage and connectivity gaps etc are being faced by the users' due to the absence of comprehensive mobile tower installation policy. We hope the new government will certainly address these issues and facilitate robust telecom infrastructure in the state," it said.
Even the draft mobile tower policy of the state, which Taipa feels in not implementable, has been pending for notification for more than two years.
"In the Digital journey of India, Karnataka will lag behind due to the absence of comprehensive mobile tower policy. Current draft tower policy is pending for notification for more than 2 years and is not at all implementable," Taipa said.
Taipa, whose members include Bharti Infratel, ATC towers, GTL Infrastructure, Reliance Infratel, Indus towers and Tower Vision, said that Karnataka's draft policy is not aligned with the Right of Way rules, 2016 issued by centre government.
It said that the draft rule of the Karnataka government on installation of new 'Telecommunication Infrastructure Towers Regulations, 2015', still pending for notification, imposes restriction on the location of towers and imposes requirement of multiple documents for clearance such as completion certificate, sanctioning plan of the building, etc and lags provision of single window clearance as laid under the rules of centre.
"The registration fee (prescribed in the draft) ranges from Rs 50,000 to 10,000 whereas it is prescribed as 10,000 rupees for administrative expenses under the Right of Way rules, 2016 notified by Central Government," Taipa said.
The mobile tower body said that other Indian states such as Kerala, Jharkhand, Haryana, Odisha, Rajasthan and Assam have aligned their tower policies with the central government guidelines.