Chennai: Metro commuters might not be able to use their phones at underground station. Blame it on the ongoing squabble between Chennai Metro Rail officials and Telecom companies. This tussle is over the contract and payment delays service connectivity.
Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL)in May 2017 started operation of the section between Nehru Park and Thirumangalam. Currently it runs metro train in around 15km underground section starting from Central Metro to Thirumangalam as well as from AG-DMS to Saidapet.
It is only Jio users who get mobile connectivity from Nehru Park to Thirumangalam. Unfortunately, other Telecom users are unable to connect in the underground section. They travel without signal when the train passes by underground stations.
Sources in CMRL inform that Telecom providers are BSNL are not keen to sign a contract. They are not willing to pay for connecting their network to a booster installed at underground metro stations to make available signals to mobile phones.
Telecom players like BSNL have already outsourced work to private company for maintenance of cell phone towers. CMRL on the other hand has signed a contract with another company for installation, commissioning and maintenance of signal boosters that are set up at all Chennai metro stations.
The blame game has already started with BSNL sharing that CMRL is charging high fees for linking to booster. BSNL officials explain that they are willing to put up technical interface to improve mobile connectivity at underground metro stations. CMRL that has already appointed another contractor is not willing to budge as per sources.
A Telecom company official says that if CMRL wants to improve mobile connectivity at underground station, it should listen to Telecom companies. They should not use the linking to booster as a means to generate revenue.
CMRL is assuring that they are doing everything they can to improve mobile connectivity. An official also shared that Telecom companies like BSNL have a problem with fees, they should approach them directly. This will help in resolving the issue faster.