Telecom industry stakeholders on Monday cautioned the public against the fraud related to the installation of mobile towers on their properties in the country as it prepares for the 5G rollout.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Digital Infrastructure Providers’ Association (DIPA) said that people must observe caution against certain companies, agencies, or individuals who are fraudulently approaching them, asking to deposit money in their personal or company accounts in the name of government tax for leasing their premises for installation of mobile towers.
The same individuals are offering fake “No Objection Certificates” from the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology for the installation of towers, they informed.
Mobile towers are installed either by telecom service providers (TSP) or infrastructure providers (IPs).
The mobile towers are installed by telecom infrastructure providers like Indus Towers, American Tower Corporation, Summit Digital Infrastructure, Ascend Telecom, and Tower Vision.
“IPs are taking several steps to caution the public about the frauds and have devised various modes to collect the information about potential locations through various channels such as toll-free numbers, websites, emails etc,” said T.R. Dua, DG, DIPA.
The industry bodies requested people to verify authenticity by visiting the websites of TSPs or IPs before accepting any offers for tower installation.
“Mobile towers are quintessential to ensure uninterrupted connectivity, support various critical services and maintain communication across the states. The public suffers gravely owing to the fraud related to mobile towers,” said Lt Gen Dr S.P. Kochhar, DG, COAI.
This is causing a trust deficit and a sense of insecurity towards the team personnel working on the ground to build a robust communication network.
“The telecom industry remains committed to providing the best quality of services to its customers. Hence, we have collaborated with DIPA to build the required robust infrastructure,” Kochhar added.
According to reports, more than 6.8 lakh mobile towers have been installed across the country and over 15 lakh towers are to be installed by FY24 as the country prepares for 5G.