India to soon clear a Rs 7,103 crore project to improve mobile connectivity in its Northeast regions

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In a bid to improve wireless telecommunication around NorthEast regions of India that are close to the Chinese and Bangladeshi border, Telecom commission of India has decided to soon clear a Rs 7,103-crore rollout of greenfield 2G networks.

The idea is to cover the regions under the country’s mobile loop and improve surveillance, as with rising border tensions and infiltration problems with China, surveillance has become significantly important for the border agencies to guarantee security and safety.

According to the report released by EconomicTimes, the project will be funded by the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF), a Department of Telecommunications rural network infrastructure financing arm.

Northeast India comprises of a total of 45,221 villages, out of which 9091 villages are uncovered for mobile communication. The USOF will soon invite bids for telcos to startup the project and cover nearly 8621 villages across the northeast India regions. Around 8700 base stations are expected to be opened.

In the last few years, India has seen a phenomenal growth in the availability of economical telecom services. A significant percentage of Indian population is using mobile telephones for communication as well as to access internet. But despite the promising figures, several parts of India is still deprived with a basic 2G coverage to date. According a recent TRAI report, Arunachal Pradesh has the highest number of uncovered villages (55.9 percent); followed by Meghalaya (38.1%), Mizoram (32.3%), Manipur (24.3%).

The author can be reached at devesh@iamwire.com

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