New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the external affairs ministry to discuss with Islamabad and Dhaka the issue of mobile signals being available in Indian territory even though telecom operators are not allowed to provide cellular service within 500 meters of the international border, Parliament was informed Wednesday.
“The mobile signals of Pakistani service provider such as Ufone, Mobilink, Zim Telenor, Oasis, Warid are available inside Indian territory in Barmer (Jaisindhar, Munabao, Rohiri, Khalifon Ki Baori, PS-Gadra Road etc),” said Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
According to inputs received by the government, mobile towers have been set up by Ufone, Telenor, Yuang approximately 10 km from the international border in Rajasthan. On the Bangladesh side of the border, presence of signals from Bangladeshi mobile service company Axiata had also been detected in some districts of West Bengal.
“Similarly in some of the border towns of Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistan mobile service providers’ signals are present,” he added.
The spillover of mobile signals from foreign countries allows the use of mobile communication of corresponding countries from within the territory of India without having to pass through Indian telecom network infrastructure.
The ministry also said illicit use of SIM cards of service providers of foreign countries by people inside Indian territories along border areas had been reported.
The DoT said that radio signals propagation was a natural phenomenon and could only be minimized but not completely eliminated.
It had mulled the option of blocking mobile signals using jammers, but these were effective only for about 3-4 km.
“It is practically impossible to deploy so many jammers to block the mobile signals of the neighboring countries.”
Deora said the DoT had submitted a concept paper to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) secretariat on the issue and it would be discussed in the next meeting of the group.