The government has allocated a project worth Rs. 3,683 crore for providing 4G mobile services in uncovered villages of aspirational districts, an official source said on Monday.
Under the project, Bharti Airtel will install 1,083 mobile towers with an expenditure of Rs 847.95 crore in Jharkhand and Maharashtra and Reliance Jio will roll out 3,696 towers for Rs 2,836 crore, the source said. The project was allocated to the companies in May.
“The project to provide 4G coverage in uncovered villages of aspirational district of five states was approved by the Cabinet last year. Airtel and Jio have been given 18 months to roll out 4G services in the identified villages,” the source said.
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The project envisages to provide 4G based mobile services in 7,287 uncovered villages of 44 Aspirational Districts across five states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha at an estimated cost of implementation about Rs. 6,466 crore including operational expenses for five years.
The project would be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and is likely to be completed by November 2023.
On the other hand, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that the country is targeting the rollout of 6G telecom network, which will provide ultra-high speed Internet connectivity, by the end of the decade. India currently has 3G and 4G telecom networks and companies are gearing up to launch 5G over the next few months.
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Speaking at the silver jubilee event of telecom sector regulator TRAI here, he said it is estimated that the 5G network rollout will add $450 billion (roughly Rs. 3,492 crore) to the Indian economy.