The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for implementing a Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for the North-Eastern Region (NER). The proposal entails an estimated expenditure of Rs. 5,336.18 crore (inclusive of all applicable taxes except octroi and local taxes). The plan will be funded from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The USOF would fund Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and Operational Expenditure (OPEX) net of revenue for a period of 5 years.
The project will also increase the reliability of District and State Headquarters connectivity by providing alternative optical fibre connectivity. It will also ensure that notwithstanding any problem in one route, the voice and data transfer through other route will keep the district and State headquarters connected.
This project is aimed to cover the uncovered villages in the North-Eastern Region as also to keep seamless connectivity on national highways in this region. At present, there are 43,200 villages in this region out of which 9190 (21 percent) of the villages are unconnected to any mobile network. This project will cover out of the 9190 unconnected villages, 8621 villages (20 percent) by 6673 towers. The project will also give seamless connectivity to national highways through 321 mobile towers.
Thus, this project will:-
i. provide 2G mobile coverage in identified uncovered areas of the NER,
ii. provide 2G seamless mobile coverage along National Highways in the NER and
iii. ensure reliability of and redundancy in the transmission network at State capitals and district headquarters in the NER.