Ahead of the next month's BRICS summit, cellular operators association COAI has projected a requirement of over 100 mobile towers to spruce up telecom network coverage in South Goa, which is hosting the meet.
Village panchayats in Goa are opposing installation of mobile towers citing alleged health hazards.
COAI, along with Telecom Secretary and senior officials of DoT visited Goa earlier this week to hold discussion with Chief Secretary and Gram Panchayat Secretary on the issue.
In a presentation made to senior officials of Telecom Department and Goa administration, COAI pegged the network requirement for the BRICS Summit at 102 cell sites (mobile towers), 61 of them in South Goa, and 41 on the airport route (airport to the summit venue).
"For BRICS summit, the connectivity and bandwidth requirements are going to be massive. The industry had undertaken drive tests on key routes in Goa to identify the gaps in network coverage and to see which particular places are experiencing call drops," COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews told PTI.
"Based on drive tests, we said that there is a requirement of 102 sites across government and private properties and hotel buildings. Also, 43 kilometres of optical fibre cable is required for last mile connectivity in South Goa," Mathews added.
The annual summit of BRICS — the grouping of emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — would be held in South Goa district on October 15-16.
On Wednesday, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had issued a warning to village panchayats opposing mobile towers which are to be erected for the upcoming BRICS summit in the coastal state.
Some panchayats have opposed mobile towers for the fear that these towers cause cancer, Parsekar had said pointing out that Goa government "has started educating people on apprehension of danger of radiation due to mobile towers."
"We are getting opportunity to host events like the BRICS summit. The state government, panchayats or municipalities should embrace this opportunity to project Goa on the world platform," Parsekar had told reporters in Goa.
"There is a huge bandwidth requirement as the BRICS summit proceedings have to be continuously telecast live for which towers have to be put up," the CM had said.