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Misconceptions impeding cell tower installation in Dhaka: Speakers

Staff Correspondent
21 May 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 21 May 2023 01:33:31
Misconceptions impeding cell tower installation in Dhaka: Speakers

People want better services from mobile phone operators but are reluctant to allow the installation of cell towers on their rooftops fearing health hazards, speakers at a discussion said on Saturday.

This misconception is preventing the operators from installing over 300 towers necessary for providing better services in Dhaka, they said.

The speakers comprising representatives from mobile phone companies, vendors, public authorities, and telecom equipment manufacturers made the observations at the programme held at BRAC Centre Inn in the capital.

Shyam Sunder Sikder, chairman at the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), said over 300 cell towers should be installed in Dhaka to provide quality services to city residents.

“But if people get in the way of this, network services will be hampered. The problem is widespread and includes owners of private and government office buildings,” he added.

Explaining the problem, BTRC Director General Brigadier General Md Ehsanul Kabir said if he receives 20-30 requests for better network services, he gets another five to seven where building owners and residents demand cell towers be removed from their rooftops due to concerns about health hazards.

Finding suitable new places to install those towers is another hazard, he said.

“We need to explain to the Public Works Department (PWD) that we need their cooperation to install towers on government building rooftops,” the director general added.

The representatives from different mobile operators alleged that many people are installing network jammers, repeaters, and boosters illegally and this is disrupting network services immensely.

Subscribers are not getting their desired services while operators are facing difficulties in utilising their equipment, they added.

Brig Gen Ehsanul said most of the existing issues regarding the installation of towers and others are going to be solved soon.

BTRC Deputy Director Dr Shamsuzzoha said there are two types of radiation – ionised and non-ionised – and the former is more harmful to the human body.

Excessive exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) used by mobile networks mainly creates non-ionised radiation that is less harmful, he said.