Some 243 telecom towers, also known as BTS (base transceiver station) towers, out of a total 974 in the district, remain inoperative in Cox’s Bazar as of Monday evening – more than 24 hours after Cyclone Mocha made landfall along the Bangladesh-Myanmar coast.
BTS towers are the key to staying connected for users, sending and receiving signals to and from our phones whenever our phones are within range of the area covered by a tower.
The 243 towers not working in Cox’s Bazar district as of Monday are shared fairly equally between the four operators in the industry.
Market leader Grameenphone has 60 out of its 219 towers out of order; Robi Axiata Limited, which owns 461 towers in the district since its merger with Airtel in Bangladesh, has 87 not working as of Monday afternoon.
Banglalink, with 185 towers under ownership in Cox’s Bazar, is working without 51 of them.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, state-owned TeleTalk Bangladesh sees the highest proportion of its towers out of service – 45 out of 109, nearly half.
The authorities are trying their best to make these operational again, said a BTRC press release issued on Monday. It also said most of the mobile internet system in Cox’s Bazar district is “active now”, while the mobile operators are trying their best to make their sites operational.
Yet their hands may be tied in this regard, as most of the sites remain inactive due to disrupted power supply where they are located. BTRC said the sites will resume normal functions soon after the resump-tion of power connection.
Initially over 500 of the towers were knocked out of service on Sunday, soon after Mocha hit. Some 271 towers have since had power restored, allowing them to be operational again.