Hyderabad: Are you a BSNL user having network disruptions off and on? If you are, stop blaming the mobile operator. The culprit, according to the company, is the metro rail. BSNL principal general manager (Hyderabad) PV Muralidhar took the metro rail authorities head-on, saying, “There are other reasons for faulty cables, but the ongoing metro rail works have damaged a lot of our underground cables. Whenever we receive complaints, we attend to them immediately.”
However, getting the cables operational is also proving to be a headache. “Getting the required permission from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to dig roads for our repair works has become a problem,” he said, adding that cooperation from the metro rail and GHMC authorities leaves a lot to be desired.
Among BSNL users, perhaps the worst-hit are students of the Osmania University, University of Hyderabad and the English and Foreign Languages University. Shafeeque V, a PhD scholar of the University of Hyderabad, complained, “For over a month, the connectivity has been extremely bad. Recently, we went days without any BSNL network. Phone calls get disconnected half way through, messages get delivered the next day. Even after lodging complaints, there has been no positive response.”
Echoing similar views, a faculty member in the EFLU said, “As soon as you enter the campus, the network is gone. We have been complaining about this for quite sometime.” The situation in OU is no better. “OU is politically vibrant. At times it becomes difficult to contact the police who also use BSNL phones! It is quite difficult to reach them when they are inside the campus,” said Radhakrishna, a PhD scholar in the university.
“There is no network in my police station too. During a phone call, either the voice starts breaking or the call gets cut. I had given a written request to enhance the network in this area as all of us are provided BSNL phone connections by the government,” says P Ashok, inspector of Police, Osmania University PS.
BSNL, however, has a valid explanation. One official on condition of anonymity said, “The OU campus in particular is huge. We have been trying to set up a couple of towers in the campus and recently, we have submitted a new proposal to the government.”
PV Muralidhar said, “We are updating our technology at the Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) with the latest equipment manufactured by a Chinese company called ZTE. We have placed orders and are expecting the equipment by October. The new equipment will send out waves for 2G, 3G and is also compatible for 4G networks in the future.”
BSNL Hyderabad currently has over 950 separate mobile towers for 2G and 3G services but with the installation of new equipment, same towers could be used for both networks. “Equipment in all the towers would be replaced and also we are adding another 200-odd towers across the city by January next year to improve our network coverage,” said Muralidhar.