Jammu and Kashmir Floods: Telecom Services Slowly Being Restored

jk floodTelecom services in the flood-hit Kashmir valley are slowly being restored with operators resuming network connectivity in various parts of the region.

Around 58 base transceiver stations (BTS) or mobile towers of BSNL and Aircel are functioning now along with 10 landline exchanges of the state-run operator.

Vodafone has also been able to restore connectivity in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Srinagar, Anantnag, Qazigund, Mattan, Avantipura and Ashumukam.

Vodafone said extra talk-time credit is being provided to ensure low balance doesn’t prevent them from getting connected with their near and dear ones. Bharti Airtel said it has also restored some of its sites.

The telecom operators have roaming arrangements with each other so customers of all are getting connectivity.

Bharti Airtel in a filing to BSE said its network has been down in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir as a result of the unprecedented flooding there, company’s teams have been able to manage to revive several parts of the network there.

The company is constantly monitoring the situation and is working with the authorities to normalise the services in the affected areas at the earliest possible.

The company believe that this temporary disruption will not cause any material loss in revenues or to its assets.

A BSNL official told PTI that it has extended broadband facility to Srinagar airport and also set up three PCOs at the airport where people can make free calls.

The official said that tomorrow the company will try to restore 45-50 more base transceiver stations (BTS).

Taking stock of the situation, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director A N Rai has said that all out efforts are being made on war footing for restoration of BSNL telecom network.

He said no effort is being spared for restoration of BSNL network by bringing satellite-based services (DSPT) by diverting resources from other circles of BSNL.

“10 VSATs have been airlifted to Srinagar from Bangalore yesterday night. In Poonch district, efforts are underway to restore telecom services with the help of V SAT,” Rai said.

Meanwhile, telecom operator Aircel said in a statement, “Aircel offers free calls to all its postpaid and prepaid J&K customers for the next two days, the 10th and 11th of September 2014, in its support towards the natural calamity faced in J&K.”

The statement added that it is working together with the local administration and the Army to restore 2G network in the city and to ensure no outages reoccur on their 3G network which is presently up and running in Srinagar.

Aircel has offered its network to all other mobile service operators to help the people of J&K to connect with their families and friends.

It has also set up mobile charging units & calling booths to offer the stranded flood victims the facility to make free calls to their homes/families and friends.

The booths are equipped with handsets, sufficient talk time and mobile charging units to enable free calls.


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