India's North East needs around 7,184 mobile towers at present to improve telecom connectivity but four states Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland and Mizoram are yet to notify their policy aligned with that of the union government rules for a smooth rollout of networks, according to industry body Taipa. Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) Director General Tilak Raj Dua said that four states in North East -- Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and latest being Meghalaya -- have notified their policy to roll out mobile towers in the state.
"We appeal Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland and Mizoram to notify a state tower policy immediately which is aligned with Right of Way rules, 2016 notified by the central government, if they wish to empower their citizens with the enormous power of internet responsible for socio-economic growth," Dua said.
He said that Meghalaya on December 21, 2018, notified the rules aligned to that of the central government for rolling out telecom networks in the state.
"Before the notification of state policy, the telecom infrastructure industry was struggling with multiple/high fees and levies, the absence of single-window clearance and absence of sites in government lands and buildings etc.," Dua said, as reported by PTI.
According to Taipa, whose members include Bharti Infratel, American Towers Corporation, Indus Tower, etc., Meghalaya alone needs 2,162 mobile towers across 2,374 villages for basic network connectivity.
"The state tower policy which is aligned with Right of Way rules, 2016, will extensively help to boost the telecom network and to ensure connectivity to masses across the state in the far-flung areas," Dua said.
He said that in North East, there are around 7,184 mobile towers which need to doubled up in the forthcoming time to support emerging technologies and the four states -- Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland and Mizoram -- should notify their policies in alignment with Right of Rules, 2016 of the central government for smooth rollout of these towers.