Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vodafone sues Telecom Italia for euro 1 bn

Reuters) - British telecoms provider Vodafone Group (VOD.L) is suing Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) for abusing its dominant position in Italy, seeking damages of more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
A Vodafone spokeswoman said in an email on Sunday the civil action in Milan stated that Telecom Italia committed a series of abuses from 2008 to 2013 "with the intention and effect of impeding growth in competition in the Italian fixed-line market".
Telecom Italia rejected the claim saying it was confident it would demonstrate the "total correctness" of its behavior.
In May, Italy's competition authority fined Telecom Italia about 104 million euros for abusing its dominant market position as owner and manager of the country's largest fixed-line telephone network.
Telecom Italia has said it would appeal against the antitrust fine, which was decided after a three-year investigation prompted by rivals Wind, Italy's third-largest mobile operator, and broadband company Fastweb, a unit of Swisscom (SCMN.VX).
Vodafone said Telecom Italia had caused a loss of customers, restricted Vodafone Italy's ability to grow its fixed-line business, and forced it to pay artificially high costs to compete in the market.
Vodafone Italy, which filed the lawsuit, is 77 percent owned by Vodafone, with the rest held by the British firm's U.S. partner Verizon Communications (VZ.N).
The lawsuit comes as Telecom Italia is moving ahead with a plan to spin off its fixed-line copper network, which rivals say gives it a competitive edge.
Last month, Vodafone posted a 3.5 percent drop in organic service revenue with Italy and Spain posting double-digit falls and competition increasing in its once-reliable markets of Germany and Britain.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Deora asks BMC to remove illegal mobile towers

Milind Deora, the minister of state for IT and communications, on Sunday asked a reluctant BMC to pull down illegal mobile towers, a day after Mirror reported that 75 per cent of towers on Mumbai's rooftops were illegal. Deora said that the BMC should not wait for the central government's word on the issue to remove cell towers that had been installed without permission.

A survey conducted by the civic body recently revealed that 3,620 out of the total 4,779 cell towers in the city were illegal. "If the BMC's survey has found that 75 per cent of towers are unauthorised, then civic officials must pull them down," the MP from south Mumbai said. "Any delay in forming a municipal policy on mobile towers cannot be attributed to the Department of Telecommunications as it deals with the subject of radiation, and not structural issues."

Civic officials often do not take action against companies that illegally put up cell towers citing legal hurdles — some companies have moved court over the issue — and the delay by the central government to provide policy inputs.

Last month, the BMC announced a draft policy that limits the number of towers per building to two and requires companies to obtain approval from the owner and majority occupants.

It also bars companies from installing such structures on or near schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages, child rehabilitation centres and old age homes. The rules will be finalised once the state urban development department gives its consent.

Recently, Deora spoke to BMC chief Sitaram Kunte, urging him to speed up the process "as there is an urgent need to regulate installation of cell towers in the city".

In 2011, the number of illegal towers in the city was 1,800. The figure has more than doubled since then.

"This is an issue of a structure coming up illegally. The BMC has the necessary powers to take action in such cases. If it needs any technical support, the DoT is ready to help," Deora said, adding that the DoT had forwarded guidelines to municipal bodies across the country to help them frame new rules.

The minister feels housing societies that allow mobile companies to set up towers without authorities' nod should also be penalised.

BMC's WiFi plan could expose us to radiation : Citizens

Residents met at Matunga to discuss the potential hazards of BMC’s plan to enable WiFi across the city. At a meeting held on Sunday, residents from across the city raised concerns over radiation levels that are likely to be emitted once the civic body’s ambitious WiFi plan comes into place.
The meeting was held in Matunga’s Amulakh Amichand School, and attended by residents from the neighbouring suburbs.
Hindustan Times had reported on July 20 about the BMC planning to create infrastructure that will enable unlimited access to wireless internet for people across the city. The plan involved setting up public routers that will enable the internet network.
However, residents and experts said the plan needs to be better thought out. “The BMC is planning to instal routers on street lamps, which might be hazardous because they are too low and there might be people living or working in the line of that radiation,” said Anuj Jain, a telecom engineer who had managed a similar network for Philadelphia.
Jain said that a better solution would be to either have WiFi hotspots or to place these routers higher. “The BMC needs to speak to experts and do its homework before it initiates such a plan,” he added.
Nikhil Desai, a resident of Matunga, said they plan to visit the BMC. “We will raise the issue and seek some clarity from the BMC. We want to be certain that the civic body is looking at the issue as being a radiation hazard.

BMc's Wi-Fi plan stirs up a hornets' nest

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s announcement of providing Wi-Fi service to all Mumbaikars may come across as modern, but a section of city activists has expressed concern over the plan, which is, however, in a nascent stage. Speaking to dna after a public awareness programme at Matunga’s Amulakh Amichand School against high radiation levels, activists said the corporation should do its homework properly before introducing the public to the wireless internet service. “If power transmission and radiation from a Wi-Fi router remain high, it is dangerous for us. Schools and colleges in the US have started cutting down on Wi-Fi service. If not installed properly, the system will lead to troubles,” Prakash Munshi, an activist, said, adding that even if a router, which facilitates wireless internet service within a room or office, has to be installed at proper place. It also has to be turned off when not in use.
“But who will regulate the Wi-Fi service with such ease? Apart from health aspects, the service may also pose threat to our security,” he said.
Activists have demanded that the corporation to install Wi-Fi routers at certain heights to avoid exposure to high radiations. “Installing devices on lamp posts to provide Wi-Fi won’t work. The corporation should ensure the devices are located above certain height,” said Nikhil Desai, member of city-based NGO AGNI.
According to Anuj Jain, who made a presentation to spread awareness amongst attendees: “The Wi-Fi hotspots, if not installed properly and at apt distance, it will lead to higher power transmission and radiation. If that happens, radiation in the Wi-Fi system will be as dangerous as that emanating from cell towers.”  Wi-Fi routers can transmit frequencies at 2.4 GHz. According to Jain, if installed at a distance of 100 or 200 metres, they can be least dangerous. “But if you increase the distance between two, the radiation and power transmission will be on the higher side,” he added. Despite several attempts, mayor Sunil Prabhu remained unavailable for his comment.
Meanwhile, actress Juhi Chawla-Mehta, who attended the public meeting, said, “We are against a giant industry (of telecom players), but people will have to come together to tackle it.”

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BMC undecided about cell tower rules

Chittaranjan Tembhekar & Linah Baliga, TNN Aug 3, 2013, 02.02AM IST
MUMBAI: Though BMC officials are clueless about the changes they will have to make in their policy to regulate cellphone towers in the city, they said they would incorporate the new guidelines issued by the department of telecom in their recommendations. The DoT has come up with its guidelines for state governments and local bodies while dealing with cell towers. The guidelines came into effect from August 1.
"We will table the draft cell tower policy in the general body meeting soon. We have learnt that there will be modifications to the guidelines issued by DoT. We have not received any intimation so far, but if it is so, we will make the necessary changes in the draft policy," said Rajeev Kukunur, BMC chief engineer, development plan.
Meanwhile, Indians For Safe Environments (IFSE) and other citizen groups in the city have objected to the "advisory" nature of these guidelines. "These guidelines are advisory in nature and not mandatory for states or local bodies. Hence, it is necessary for the DoT to ask states to frame rules based on the new guidelines," a statement by IFSE and other citizens' groups said.
According to them, citizens were not happy that the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell will have to intervene in case residents of a building want a cell tower removed for violation of guidelines. They want this power to be vested with the local bodies. IFSE said a specific time limit should be fixed for operators to submit self-certificate regarding towers. They also want the government to adopt the lowest Austrian limit for radiations.
IFSE has demanded that the combined power output from antennae be reduced to a maximum of 2 Watts per site. Citizens also want that the number of antennae per site be restricted to two.

Santosh Pandey

Attached herewith two tables with scientifically calculated Power Density based on specified parameters which nobody can question.

Electro Magnetic Field Radiation depends on Combined Power Output from Antennae fixed on Mobile Towers or Brackets in Mumbai or anywhere in the world.

Higher the Combined Power Output , Higher the Radiation
Higher the Radiation , Higher the Health Problems for Indian Citizens.
Higher the Power Output Wider the Coverage so lower Infrastructure Costs
Lower the Infrastructure Costs , Higher the Operators' Profits.

So Health or Wealth ?

Health is my Fundamental Right and I shall have it.

The EMF Radiation level NORM was reduced to 10% of original
while on the ground level the actual readings were much below the revised norms.

The DoT should have only reduced the Power Transmission norms from 20 Watts per Antenna to 10% or 2 Watts per site. Radiation levels and Health Hazards would have reduced automatically and drastically. Why did DoT not insist on Operators to  lower power micro-cell transmitters with in built          solutions instead of the present trend of using high-power transmission ?

Why do US Researchers do experiments with One Antenna and 2 Watts Power and subject a mouse to this radiation. Obviously to find that the mouse was not affected by this Radiation. On top of it World Health Organisation , ICAR and European Organisations rely on results of such studies which are not real world ground realities in India . We have 10 - 20 Antennae and with High Power Transmission.

These studies in the Laboratory showed no effect on the little mouse. Indian Citizens face 10 - 20 Antennae Clusters with High Power Transmission and they have no choice to turn it down or off.

WE have requested the Researcher to do a Study with 10 Antennae and Power Output of  100, 200 , 300 400 watts  and 20 mice and come back with results.

Please refer both the slides and analyse for yourself whether DoT should have reduced a NORM which was 10 times higher than the revised Norm and the Actual Readings were about 50 times the original norm.

We want the DoT , Ministry of C & IT , MCGM and State Government to accept this , save Power , Diesel and at 2Watts requirement use Solar Energy and becom a GREEN INDUSTRY.

In the Interest and concern for the Health of the Indian Citizens

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Now, owner NOC must to set up cellphone tower on building

Now, owner NOC must to set up cellphone tower on building
Mihika Basu : Mumbai, Fri Aug 02 2013, 08:42 hrs SmallLargePrint
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To set up a cellphone tower on a building, telecom operators will have to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from its owner or person/s with rooftop rights.
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) guidelines issued and effective Thursday, however, do not require operators to obtain consent of 70 per cent of members of a society, as proposed by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in a draft policy.
"Local bodies may seek submission of copy of NOC from building owner/entities having rooftop rights or rooftop tenants in case of roof-based tower/land owner in case of ground-based tower. State governments may seek fresh NOC at the time of renewal of site (tenancy) contract for mobile tower," the guidelines say.
DoT will limit itself to fixing standards for exposure limits of radio frequency field emissions from mobile base stations, monitoring compliance, all radiation-related technical issues and issues of access service licence/infrastructure provider registration.
A DoT official said the state government or the local body can frame stricter guidelines. In other words, BMC can specify the additional requirements operators would need to meet.
Service providers will now have to periodically establish/certify that all general public areas around old and new towers are within safe exposure limits. Violations could attract penalty, or even lead to shutdown. Telecom enforcement resource and monitoring (TERM) cells will have to issue acknowledgment receipts.
The guidelines call for setting up state- and district-level telecom committees, as demanded by citizens, to address grievances relating to installation of towers and telecom infrastructure.
The committees will consist of officers from TERM cells, state administration, representatives of telecom service providers and eminent members of the public.


your nod must for cell tower renewals soon

Poorvi Kulkarni, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 02, 2013
First Published: 01:16 IST(2/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:18 IST(2/8/2013)

The department of telecommunications (DoT) has revised guidelines for issuing clearances to install mobile towers, effective from August 1. If the BMC adopts them, you could have a greater say in the matter.
The additions include governments and civic bodies having to seek an NOC from building owners or housing societies every time a site approval is renewed, and including citizen representatives in district and state-level monitoring committees, which address public grievances.


(Effective from 01.08.2013)

1.   The Indian telecom sector has witnessed phenomenal growth and mobile telephony in particular has revolutionized in the country over the past decade. Providing telephone coverage across the country has been one of DoT’s top priority areas.  Out of 921 million connections, 891 million are wireless, as on May 2013. The popularity of cell phone and wireless communication devices has resulted in a proliferation of cell towers across the country.

2.   Fixation of standards for exposure limits of radio frequency field emissions from mobile base stations, monitoring their compliance, all radiation related technical issues, issues of Access Service Licence / Infrastructure Provider registration and SACFA clearance for frequency allocation at any location are dealt with by DoT.

3.   India has adopted strict limit for radiation from Base Transceiver Station (BTS), as below, which is 1/10th of the International norms (ICNIRP):
Frequency in MHz
Power density limit
0.45 watt/m2
0.9 watt/m2
2100 and above
1 watt/m2
4.   Broad guidelines for issue of clearance for installation of mobile phone towers were issued on 23.08.2012 and later modified on 26.03.2013. Subsequently, on the basis of feedback received after deliberations made with the state government officials and various stake holders on 16.04.2013 and holding further consultations thereafter, the guidelines have been finalized for the state governments. These are detailed in A and B below.These guidelines are issued in supersession of all earlier guidelines on the subject.

A.   Documents to be submitted by Telecom Service Providers/ Infrastructure Providers for obtaining clearance from local bodies / state governments for installation of mobile towers:
                     I.        Copy of relevant license / Infrastructure Provider Registration Certificate from Department of Telecommunications.
                   II.        Data Sheet
a)       Name of Service/Infrastructure Provider
b)       Location
c)       Tower Reference:
i)     Height, ii) Weight iii) Ground/Roof Topiv) Pole/wall mounted v) Number of antennae
                 III.        Copy of SACFA clearance / copy of SACFA application for the said location submitted to WPC wing of DoT with registration number as WPC acknowledgement alongwith undertaking that in case of any objection/ rejection, TSPs/ IPs will take corrective actions / remove the tower.
                 IV.        Copy of structural stability certificate for ground based tower. In case of roof top BTS towers, structural stability certificate for the building and tower based on written approvals of any authorized Structural Engineer of state/local bodies/Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee/ IIT/NIT or any other agency authorized by local body.
                   V.        Copy of the type test certificate issued by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to the manufacturers of the Diesel Generator (DG) Sets.
                 VI.        Copy of clearance from Fire Safety Department only in case for high rise buildings where Fire Clearance is mandatory.
               VII.        For forest protected areas, the copy of clearance from State Environment & Forest Department, if applicable.
             VIII.        The local bodies may also seek submission of the copy of No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Building Owner/entities having roof top rightsor roof top tenants in case of roof based tower/ land owner in case of ground based tower, as the case may be.As per their rules in force, State Governments, at their discretion, may seek fresh NOC at the time of renewal of site (tenancy) contract for mobile tower.
                 IX.        Acknowledgement receipt issued by TERM Cells (DoT) of the self-certificate submitted by Telecom Service Provider/ Infrastructure Provider in respect of mobile tower/ BTS (ground based/ roof top/ Pole/ wall mounted) in the format as prescribed by TEC, DoT, establishing / certifying that all General Public areas around the tower will be within safe EMR exposure limit as per peak traffic measurement after the antennae starts radiating.

B.  Action by State government/Local body
                     I.        Nominal one time Administrative Fee as may be decided by the State Government to recover its costs on the issue of permission for installation of Tower.
                   II.        Single Window Clearance may be provided in a time bound manner to telecom service provider / infrastructure provider by the local body / State Government. This will ensure issuance of faster clearances.
                 III.        Telecom towers have been given infrastructure status by Government of India vide gazette notification no 81 dated 28.03.2012. All benefits, as applicable to infrastructure industry, should be extended. Electricity connection may be provided to BTS site on priority.
                 IV.        Telecom installations are lifeline installations and a critical infrastructure in mobile communication. In order to avoid disruption in mobile communication, an essential service, sealing of BTS towers / disconnection of electricity may not be resorted to without the consent of the respective TERM Cell of DoT in respect of the EMF related issues.
                   V.        State Governments along with DoT may organise public awareness programmes involving civil society members.
                 VI.        In order to effectively address Public Grievances relating to installation of towers and issues related to telecom infrastructure, State Governmentsmay setup:
·         State Level Telecom Committee (STC) consisting of officers from TERM Cells, State Administration, representative(s) of concerned Telecom Service Provider(s)and eminent public persons etc.
·         District Level Telecom Committee (DTC) consisting of officers from District Administration, representative(s) of concerned Telecom Service Provider(s) and eminent public persons etc.

C.  Action by DoT/ TERM Cells
                     I.        Public awareness programme (Through DoT web portal / Govt. Publication).
 II.    a)For all the existing as well as new BTSs / Towers, Telecom Service Providers are required to submit self-certificates periodically in the format as prescribed by TEC, DoT, in order to ensure that normally all general public areas around the site are within the safe EMR exposure limits. Any violation noticed attracts heavy penalties on Telecom Service Provider(s) and may also lead to shut down of BTS in case the violation persists.
b) The TERM Cells have been given clear instructions with regard to the technical audit of BTS, including for radiation from towers within safe limits.These include roof top/ ground based/ pole mounted/ wall mounted towers. They will also verify antenna orientation, safe distance from the tower (exclusion zone) etc. Installation and augmentation of BTS and antenna is a continuous process.DoT is organizing frequent workshopsfor these officers to ensure observance of the latest guidelines issued by DoT on the subject of EMF radiation and public safety.Additional Guidelines for TERM Cells(available on DoT website)