Telcos rolled out intra-circle roaming in Gujarat to ensure connectivity is not interrupted with cyclone Biparjoy.
Effective June 17, phone users connected calls using any network available within their area, similar to how they use other networks when their phone is on roaming while travelling to another city or state.
The telcos, DoT, National Disaster Management Authority as well as local state entities monitored calls regularly to ensure connectivity was not disrupted.
This practice has been undertaken before with the Cellular Operators Authority of India announcing a similar move in 2021 in West Bengal and Odisha which were hit by cyclone Yaas.
The Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA) wrote to the state government for permission to provide unrestricted access to personnel to telecom sites during the cyclone. DIPA had also requested that adequate reserves of diesel be provided for telecom towers, uninterrupted power supply, and permission to deploy cell on wheels (CoW).
CoWs are deployed during emergencies for short-term boost to network coverage. A CoW comprises a tower, transceiver and related equipment packed in a truck. Diesel is required to power backup generators during a natural climatic emergency.
Telcos and the department of telecom have been closely monitoring operations.