Cyclone Yaas: Telecom operators attempt to keep services alive
Telecom operators in Bengal are taking a cue from their experience of cyclone Amphan last year and hoping to keep services alive for its subscribers as Calcutta and coastal Bengal brace for cyclone Yaas.
Subscribers of government-owned BSNL as well as private telecom operators had faced severe disruptions during and after Amphan. The two major challenges operators had cited last year was erratic power supply to telecom towers and inadequate coordination between various agencies and the telecom operators.
“In order to address these two challenges, diesel stocks and battery back-up at telecom sites have been boosted…. Frontline teams have identified overhead optic fibre cables that need to be safeguarded and teams are kept on standby for quick repair and restoration of services,” said Lt Gen S.P. Kochhar, the director general of industry body COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India).
“There are nodal officers of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and state government available for coordination this time,” said Biswajit Paul, chief general manager, Calcutta Telephones, BSNL
Subscribers in affected areas will have the option to tap into another functional network on another service provider through intra-circle roaming (ICR).
“In consultation with DoT, intra-circle roaming will be initiated in affected areas…. This will enable any telecom subscriber to latch onto any working network and not just depend only on their own network,” said Kochhar.
“We are working closely with other network providers (for ICR), partners and government agencies to ensure stable telecom connectivity during the cyclone,” said Vodafone Idea Ltd.
Vodafone Idea in a statement: “We have ensured sufficient fuel supply to our sites across locations, and stocking of fuel at strategic locations, for use in case of emergency. Mobile DGs, critical equipment spares and vehicles have been arranged and kept ready at key locations. Vi teams are prepared to manage an emergency situation and network monitoring is being done through 24x7 war rooms.”
Airtel said: “Service recovery teams have been formed and are on standby for round the clock repairing and restoration work. As a pre-emptive measure all critical spares, fibre, batteries and diesel have been stocked at key locations for faster response and minimum downtime….”