Indian Mobile phone companies reacted furiously on Wednesday when authorities shut down 300 allegedly illegal towers and left tens of thousands of users suffering cut-off calls and no reception in a suburb of New Delhi called Noida.

Therefore, about 300 towers were closed across Noida, a booming satellite town outside the New Delhi, in a dispute over whether they had been built on private properties where commercial activity is banned.

Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), T.R. Dua said they are not illegal and the action taken by the Noida authorities is totally arbitrary and uncalled for. He said mobile reception was an important part of everyday life and that users were unable to call for help if they were sick or had had an accident.

Across India, allegedly illegal towers have sprung up and have increasingly become the centre of disputes between giant mobile phone companies like Vodafone and local authorities. It is true that more than 15 million people a month become new users of mobile phones in India, therefore India is said to be the world’s fastest-expanding mobile market.

Let’s hope this problem gets sorted out soon.

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