Is govt waiting for another telco tower catastrophe?



  • In June and July, 2 telecom towers collapsed in twin cities



Back in June and July, this year, two telecom towers installed on rooftops of commercial markets and near residential area collapsed in the twin cities.


One of the telco tower, situated in sector G-9, came apart on 2nd June in a torrential rain spell. The second telco tower fell down near Rawalpindi District Courts on 18th of July. Fortunately, in both incidents human life remained unharmed.


It is pertinent to mention here that both collapsed towers were ‘guyed towers’ and were installed back in 2006 during phase-I when telcos were expanding. Unlike the ‘Lattice towers’ which are freestanding and ideal to mount large number of panels or dish antennas, guyed towers are easy to install and supported by steel cables that anchor to the ground. Guyed towers are mostly used for radio and TV transmission.


Rampant urban development, exponential increase in number of cell phone users and replacement of old technology with new one, resulted in installation of more equipment including antennas, panels and transceivers on mobile towers.

‘Four-legged towers or Lattice towers have more capacity to withstand weight as they are self-supporting. Majority of the new towers that are installed belong to this category. Guyed mast travels are good for radio transmission as they require little equipment. Plus, many towers are shared by more than one telco which means increase in load. The government must look into this matter and regulate telcos on this count to prevent any accident,’ said Ali, a telecom engineer working in a leading cellular company.

Telecom towers have become a common feature of every big or small city’s landscape. On rooftops of every market in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, hundreds of mobile towers are installed. With caving in of two towers within weeks of each other demands a closer scrutiny and a thorough investigation by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

Despite several attempts, there was no response or comment on the issue by PTA.