Mobile phone coverage available across border

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The government of India relaxed security norms to allow cellular phone service up to 500 meters of the country's international borders.

An official notification issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), said that there shall be a 'No Service Zone' of 500 meters width along the international border within Indian territory for wireless, mobile service, where the licensee(s) are not permitted to provide wireless, mobile service.

The licensee shall use requisite technology to ensure that the signals become unusable within 500 meters of international boundaries and there shall be no wireless or mobile service in the 'Service Zone'.The Ministry of Home had earlier barred operators to offer mobile services up to 10 km along the International border of India on grounds of national security.

The notification said, "The licensee shall create a zone control, line of actual control, Akhnoor and Pathankot areas in Jammu and Kashmir, wherein they shall not deploy their cell sites, BTSs and radio transmitter(s)."

There have been reports that barring the Indian mobile operators to connect the bordering areas has forced the Indian residents to use mobile service from the operators across the borders. There are instances of Indian residents accessing Bangladesh mobile services. Signals of a number of cell-phone-service providers in Bangladesh can be accessed in Karimganj and Cachar districts of Assam, reported a website.

Following media reports, the Home Ministry informed parliament, "anti-national elements, smugglers and other miscreants, active along the Indo-Bangladesh Border on both sides use the Bangladesh mobile rural phone service. The signals are available on the Indian side in places up to several kilometers, depending upon the terrain of the area."

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