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‘Infrastructure providers face challenges in claiming losses from insurance companies’

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In Short:

Telecom infrastructure providers are facing losses due to theft of mobile equipment, with police refusing to file FIRs. DIPA members have to lodge online complaints, resulting in dual loss – stolen equipment and inability to claim insurance. Nearly 3,000 battery banks, 450 generators, and 1,500 batteries have been impacted. Theft is hindering 5G connectivity and government programs. Urgent intervention is requested to ensure tower security and crack down on theft.


Telecom Infrastructure Providers Facing Challenges in Claiming Insurance for Equipment Theft

Telecom infrastructure providers (IPs) are facing difficulties in claiming losses from insurance companies after mobile equipment theft incidents, revealed the Delhi-based Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA). The association pointed out that local police officials were refusing to file FIRs in such cases, leading to challenges for its members in lodging insurance claims.

In a letter to Neeraj Kumar, Deputy Director-General and Mission Director (Broadband Mission) at the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), TR Dua, Director-General of DIPA, highlighted the issue of non-cooperation from the police in filing FIRs, which was causing double losses for the infrastructure providers.

The association expressed concerns over the theft of electronic equipment like RUS cards, DRU cards, battery banks cells, and other telecom gear from tower sites. DIPA estimated that thousands of battery banks, diesel generators, and DG batteries have been impacted by theft incidents, resulting in significant financial losses.

Due to the increasing theft incidents at telecom sites, infrastructure companies have incurred losses amounting to nearly Rs 125-150 crore in the past fiscal year, affecting the progress of initiatives like 5G mobile connectivity, Digital India, National Broadband Mission, and smart cities development.

DIPA urged urgent intervention from authorities to enhance security at telecom towers in states like Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and Delhi. The association called for enforcement actions against miscreants involved in thefts to safeguard critical network gear and prevent further disruptions to telecom operations.

The Department of Telecommunications has directed its enforcement units to collaborate with state police departments to crack down on theft incidents that have caused substantial losses to telcos, disrupted network expansions, and impacted mobile coverage quality.

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