News Details

News Details

LOC Put On Cell Alert


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

THE Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir is opening up to the wonders of mobile telephony thanks partly to the peace process between India and Pakistan. The areas are now on the radar of cell operators.
 
Telcos are putting up base stations in villages that are 3km to 5km from the LoC to meet the fast-growing demand for mobile services. However, there are no services on or very close to the LoC. The fact that crossborder firing has stopped completely after a cease-fire between India and Pakistan has helped the spread of cellular services. The demand is driven not only by local residents, but also by defence personnel posted in the tough terrain. “Locals in these areas had till now only heard of mobile phones. With some telcos like Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL), setting up towers in villages close to the LoC, demand is outstripping supply,” sources told ET.
 
Besides, defence personnel are keen to use mobile services not only for official purposes, but also for communicating with their near and dear ones. “Being connected with our home while being hundreds of kilometres away is a dream come true. Though wireline services had been available for many years, it is mobiles that have revolutionised communication for us,” said an armed forces member in Poonch.
 
BSNL has put up 415 sites across J&K, of which around 30 are in villages close to the LoC.