Mobile companies operating in the country have requested the Federal Government to play its role in for the withdrawal of Punjab Government’s decision of ceasing all those (thousands of) cell sites that are not converted to solar energy by June end, reported TelecomRecorder.
Operators have shown their agreement on the transition of electric-run BTS from solar-run in the largest interest of the country, saying the process will be the part of their long-term planning including investment and consultation with other infrastructure manufacturers.
The Irrigation and Power Department, Ministry of Punjab ordered all mobile phone operators to switch their BTS and advertisement billboards over solar energy from electricity, otherwise Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) will cut off their electric supplies across the province by June-end.
The operators have also received notice from National Energy Conversation Centre (ENERCON), asking them to provide details about their BTS and billboards numbers across Punjab.
Telecom analyst said the warning issued by the provincial government to cut off electricity supplies by June 30 seems as absurd move as it means that all cellular phones would no longer work within the precincts of Punjab.
The provision of electricity is the paramount responsibility of the government to the operators pay millions of rupees on the account of license fee and taxes.
The switch from electric power to solar may be inevitable but it is a long term transition not one to be made in a hurry, under threat. The warning makes a mockery of deadlines and plans.
Therefore, the government could not cease to provide a basic facility of electricity that will cause any interruption in the telephony services that will hurt the lives of millions of people, he added.
Following ad appeared in Nawa-e-Waqt on June 19th, 2010: