All villages to get 4G telecom access by 2024: Minister

The project will be executed by BSNL using an indigenously developed 4G technology stack, which could be upgraded to 5G technology, and will be funded through USOF

BSNL 4G Bihar

New Delhi: All villages, which is still out of high speed internet access, will be covered with a 4G network by 2024, said the union minister of state for telecom Devusinh Chauhan here on Saturday.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Man Ki Baat’ programme on radio, he said that it continuously motivates everyone to do more and further inspire him to take government projects and services to people at the last mile.

“If we talk about the 4G saturation project, about 38,000-40,000 villages don’t have a signal. Prime Minister says that you have done good work but reach out to every home. We have kept the target to complete 4G saturation by 2024,” Chauhan said.

Also Read: Govt works out ₹26,316-cr plan to bring 40,000 villages under 4G net

The minister said that the 4G network in all uncovered villages will lead to socio-economic transformation and bridge digital divides. “It will bring a lot of socio-economic transformation in villages where 4G signals will reach. Citizen standing at the last mile will be able to check the accountability of the government, once he is digitally connected. Connecting villages digitally in a way means connecting people with democratic values,” Chauhan said.

He said that the Union Cabinet had approved a project for the saturation of 4G mobile services in uncovered villages across the country at a total cost of ₹26,316 crore in July 2022. The project will provide 4G mobile services in 24,680 uncovered villages in remote and difficult areas.

Also Read: BSNL revival package may delay launch of 4G mobile service

The project has a provision to include 20% of additional villages on account of rehabilitation, new settlements, withdrawal of services by existing operators etc. In addition, 6,279 villages having only 2G and 3G connectivity shall be upgraded to 4G.

The project will be executed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) using an indigenously developed 4G technology stack, which could be upgraded to 5G technology, and will be funded through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

Also Read: 5G capabilities and its use cases for India

The project cost of ₹26,316 crore includes capex (capital expenditure) and 5-year opex (operational expenditure). Besides covering villages under the 4G saturation project, the government has been running a drive to connect unconnected villages through private firms as well as state-owned telecom firm BSNL by providing financial support under USOF schemes.

The minister said that about 2.5 lakh villages have been connected with optical fibre and 4 lakh villages will be connected with high-speed broadband networks soon.

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