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Govt to expand mobile connectivity in North-East

Wednesday, 14 May 2014
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The Ministry of Communications & Information Technology is looking forward to expanding the basic mobile coverage, including voice calling, in eight north-eastern states.

The states are: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim, and Nagaland.

The project, estimated to cost around Rs 5,000 crore, has already received in-principal approval from the Telecom Commission. Of the total project cost, Rs 2,400 crore will be utilised as capital expenditure and the remaining Rs 2,670 crore will be invested in maintenance and op-ex over a five year period. It will be funded through the Universal Service Obligation Fund.

The proposed project envisages installation of greenfield telecom towers in uncovered areas; coverage along national highways is to be perked up; and if required, optical fibre cables will also be laid.

A detailed report by Telecom Consultants India states that 6,673 towers will be set up. In case of coverage along the national highways, another 321 towers will be required to be installed at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore.

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