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Friday, June 14, 2024

DoT urges state police to curb telecom gear theft

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In Short:

The Department of Telecommunications is concerned about the theft of critical network gear across India, causing telcos to lose around Rs 8 billion and disrupting 4G/5G expansion. They have urged enforcement units to inform state police departments about the issue and conduct quarterly reviews. Telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vi have highlighted theft incidents in certain areas, including Delhi NCR and Karnataka. The stolen telecom equipment includes expensive items like RRUs and BBUs, leading to significant losses and additional costs for companies. The government is being asked to intervene to address this growing problem.

Cracking down on Telecom Gear Theft

Imagine waking up one day and finding your essential belongings stolen – that’s exactly what’s been happening to the telecom industry in India. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is not having it and has urged enforcement units to take action!

Alert to State Police Departments

DoT is on a mission to put an end to the rampant theft of critical network gear, which has caused a whopping Rs 8 billion in losses for telecom companies. This theft not only disrupts 4G/5G expansions but also affects the quality of mobile coverage across the country.

Quarterly Reviews and Collaboration

In a directive dated May 27, 2024, DoT has instructed its field enforcement units to work closely with state police departments and conduct quarterly reviews of the telecom gear theft situation. They will also collaborate with national law enforcement agencies to tackle this issue head-on.

High Incidence in Specific Geographies

According to DoT, telecom equipment theft incidents are particularly high in regions such as Delhi NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. These areas require special attention to curb the theft.

Telcos Seek Government Intervention

Leading telecom companies like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi) have raised concerns about the increasing theft of expensive active telecoms infrastructure gear like remote radio units (RRUs) and base-band units (BBUs) since October 2023. They have reached out to the government for assistance to tackle this ongoing issue.

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