The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved a project for saturation of 4G mobile services in uncovered villages across the country at a total cost of Rs. 26,316 crore.
In 24,680 uncovered villages in tough terrain, the initiative will offer 4G mobile services. The project incorporates a clause that allows for the addition of 20 per cent of additional rural habitations due to difficulties like rehabilitation, new settlements, and the withdrawal of services by present operators, among other things. Additionally, 6,279 villages with existing 2G or 3G access will also get 4G upgrades.
The project will be carried out by BSNL using the 4G technology stack of Atmanirbhar Bharat, and it will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund. Capital expenditure (CaPex) and 5-year operating expenditure (OpEx) are included in the project’s cost of Rs. 26,316 crores.
BSNL is already in the process of deployment of Atmanirbhar 4G technology stack, which will be deployed in this project as well.
The project is a significant step towards the vision of the Government to provide mobile connectivity in rural areas. This project will promote the delivery of various e-governance services, banking services, tele-medicine, tele-education among other services through mobile broadband and generate employment in rural areas.
Digital inclusion and connectivity for all is an integral part of ‘Antyodaya’ vision of the government. Last year the government had approved a project for providing 4G mobile services in 7,287 uncovered villages in 44 aspirational districts across 5 states.
In his Independence Day address in 2021, the Prime Minister gave a call for saturation of government schemes in the country.
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