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5,321 towers to be built in villages under USOF in 2022-23

Mobile towers are installed by Telecom Service Provider {including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)}/ Infrastructure Providers to improve coverage and capacity of their network based on techno-commercial assessment, the rollout obligation, etc. However, the Government has set up Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) for planning and implementing various schemes to set up mobile towers and provide telecommunication services to people in the rural and remote areas of the country.

As on December 2020, out of 5,97,618 inhabited census villages in the country (as per Census 2011), 5,72,551 villages were having mobile coverage. All 1432 villages of Bharatpur District and 1160 villages out of 1162 villages of Sikar District have been provided with the mobile network coverage. The Government through various schemes/projects under USOF is providing telecommunication services in uncovered villages in the country in a phased manner. Provision has been made to cover one uncovered village of Sikar district under “354 uncovered villages Scheme” of USOF.

A total of 5,321 number of Telecom Towers/ Base Stations have been envisaged under the USOF scheme in the coming financial year (2022-23) in the country.

These schemes/ projects through which Government is providing mobile and internet services in the rural and remote areas of the country are as follows:

  • Left Wing Extremism Affected Area (Phase-I & II) projects
  • Aspirational Districts scheme
  • Commissioning of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable connectivity from Chennai to Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  • Scheme for connecting submarine Optical Fibre Cable from Kochi to Lakshadweep Islands
  • BharatNet (Phase–I & II) projects
  • Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for mobile connectivity in the North Eastern Region
  • Provision of 4G mobile coverage in uncovered villages and provision of seamless 4G mobile coverage of National Highway-4 (earlier NH-223) in Andaman & Nicobar Islands etc.

DoT has also taken several policy initiatives to facilitate infrastructure growth for improving telecommunication network. These include notifying Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016, permitting trading/sharing/liberalisation of spectrum, permitting passive & active infrastructure sharing among the TSPs, etc. More than 16.75 lakh additional Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) for 2G/3G/4G-LTE services have been added by TSPs from March 2014 onwards across the country.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

CT Bureau

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