The Digital Communication Commission on Thursday approved various telecom infrastructure projects, including roll out of more than 3,500 mobile towers for 4G services in North East, involving total expenditure of Rs 8,588 crore.
The DCC, formerly known as telecom commission, approved a special scheme to cover close to 12,000 uncovered villages in aspirational districts, a top official said.
Besides infrastructure project, the panel approved recommendations for Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to issue guidelines for easy installation of telecom networks in commercial and private residential complexes to enable access of their premise to all telecom providers in fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner.
The DCC has approved 1,917 mobile towers for 2,968 uncovered villages of Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam.
“4G connectivity has been approved for uncovered villages in North East. This includes 2,215 villages in Arunachal and 763 villages in two districts of Assam. This also includes highway. The total cost estimate is Rs 2,536 crore,” DCC Chairman and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash told reporters after meeting of the commission.
The proposal will need approval of the Cabinet.
Prakash said that the project is expected to be completed in 18 months from the date it is awarded to telecom operators.
“The project cost includes operations and maintenance expenses for 5 years. After these 5 years, telecom operator who wins the contract willl have to manage the network for next 5 year at their own expense,” Prakash said.
The DCC also approved 1,593 mobile towers for 4G connectivity in 2,691 uncovered villages of Meghalaya at an outlay Rs 2,132 crore, Prakash said.
It also gave approval of Rs 2,065 crore for Bharat Net project in Telangana and Rs 1,815 crore in Tamil Nadu.
“In Telangana, 10,787 gram panchayats will be covered under Bharat Net Phase 2 and the cost recommended is Rs 2,065 crore. In includes opex for three years. Tamil Nadu, there was no phase 1, will get Rs 1,815 crore for BharatNet to cover the entire state,” Prakash said.
The telecom secretary said they are making recommendations to MoHUA for easing roll out of telecom networks.
“MoHUA will surely examine it and see how best they can go about it,” Prakash said.