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USOF scheme for mobile services in Uncovered Villages of Aspirational Districts

USOF scheme for mobile services in Uncovered Villages of Aspirational Districts

Mobile services in uncovered villages

A new scheme has been approved by the Cabinet in November 2021 for provisioning of mobile services in Uncovered Villages of Aspirational Districts across five States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra & Odisha.

Scope and Coverage

The Project envisages to provide 4G based mobile services in the 7,287 uncovered villages of 44 Aspirational Districts across five States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra & Odisha at an estimated cost of implementation about Rs 6,466 crore including operational expenses for 5 years. The project would be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The project will be completed within 18 months after the signing of the Agreement and likely to be completed by November 2023.

The work related to provision of 4G mobile services in identified uncovered villages will be awarded through open competitive bidding process as per extant USOF procedures.

Benefits

The present proposal for provisioning of mobile services in the remote & difficult uncovered areas of Aspirational Districts across five States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra & Odisha will enhance digital connectivity useful for self-reliance, facilitate learning, dissemination of information and knowledge, skill upgradation and development, disaster management, e-Governance initiatives, establishment of enterprises & e-commerce facilities, provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing & availability of job opportunity and fulfilling the vision of Digital India promoting domestic manufacturing and fulfilling the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat etc.

Source : PIB

Upgradation of 2G mobile sites to 4G at security sites in LWE areas

The Union Cabinet during April 2022 has approved a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) project for upgrading 2G mobile services to 4G at security sites in left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas.

The Project envisages upgrading 2,343 left Wing Extremism Phase-I sites from 2G to 4G mobile services at an estimated cost of Rs.1,884.59 crore (Excluding taxes and levies).  This includes O&M for five years.  However, BSNL will maintain the sites for another five years at its own cost.  The work will be awarded to BSNL because these sites belong to BSNL.

The Cabinet also approved funding of operations and maintenance cost of LWE Phase-I 2G sites by BSNL for an extended period beyond the contractual period of five years at an estimated cost of Rs.541.80 crore.  The extension will be up to 12 months from the date of approval by the Cabinet or commissioning of 4G sites, whichever is earlier.

Government chose BSNL for a prestigious project to indigenous 4G telecom equipment so as to achieve self-reliance in the telecom gear segment to fulfil domestic market needs apart from exporting to other markets.  This 4G equipment will be deployed in this project also.

The upgradation will enable better internet and data services in these LSW areas.  It meets the requirements of Ministry of Home Affairs and the state governments.  It shall also fulfil the communication needs of the security personnel deployed in these areas.   The proposal is in line with the goal of providing mobile connectivity in rural areas.   In addition, delivery of various e-governance services, banking services, tele-medicine; tele-education etc. through mobile broadband shall be possible in these areas.

Source : PIB



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