'Spectrum fragmentation is the reason for huge number of towers'

'Spectrum fragmentation is the reason for huge number of towers' New Delhi: India could have done without such a large number of telecom towers if the government had not fragmented the spectrum distribution, Vodafone India chief Marten Pieters said on Tuesday.

"If the government would not have fragmented the spectrum so much, the country could do with a lot less than the 5 lakh towers," he said.

He said the telecom industry has a few big issues and one of them is carbon footprint for towers, the use of diesel at tower sites which are directly linked to the energy policies of the country.

"If we have completely reliable power line energy, then of course, we will not use diesel," he said, adding, the over five lakh towers itself are an outcome of the policy of the government to fragment the spectrum.

"The network needs to be replicated so often, there are so many players and all of them have little spectrum which means you need to replicate towers very often," Marten said.

He added if there is lot of spectrum, the industry can provide network coverage with less number of towers.

"All these things have an impact on carbon footprint," Pieters said.

Vodafone, which released "Footprints-II", the sustainability report 2012, today said it has deployed fuel catalysts at 1,182 sites, which increases the combustion capability of fuel and thereby reducing 8-10 percent carbon emission.

"Footprints II" is the second volume of the sustainability report which encapsulates the various initiatives undertaken by Vodafone India.

Releasing the report, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said, "Such initiatives reinforce their commitment to India, which I am sure will further strengthen going forward."

PTI