Bengaluru, Nov 12: You are in the central part of Bangalore city covered by a number of mobile towers and still your mobile phone indicates 'emergency calls only'.
You are forced to make at least three attempts to get connected. Worse, well into the call, you are disconnected suddenly. These are the experiences of the residents of city for the last couple of weeks. And, they are related to the frequent power cuts. This problem appears to be uniform across private GSM service providers — Vodafone, Airtel and Spice, and is spread across the city.
Frequent power cuts have contributed to mobile network congestion resulting in connectivity problems in the city. A woman calls her husband and gets the message that the mobile phone she called was switched off.
A manager calls his subordinate and gets a similar message. However, the handsets of the called numbers were in the “switched on position."
When there is a power cut, mobile service providers have to maintain the network by running diesel generator sets at their towers. However, for various reasons, including cost-cutting measures and restriction on using diesel generator sets on certain towers, service providers keep one among a few towers live and attempt to maintain the network.
This results in overloading and congestion of the network. Despite subscribers facing congestion problems, service providers claim that everything is right. 'There could be stray incidents. Overall, the situation is fine and our networks are working well,' said a senior official of one of the private operators. A spokesperson of another operator said, 'We have sufficient power back-up and there is no disturbance in the service.'