The Cabinet has approved the upgradation of 2G mobile sites to 4G in Left Wing Extremism areas at a cost of Rs 2,426 crore. The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) project is spread across 10 states and state-run BSNL has been assigned the work.
As per the government, 2,343 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Phase-I sites will be upgraded from 2G to 4G mobile services at an estimated cost of Rs 1,884.59 crore, which includes operation and maintenance for five years. The Cabinet also approved funding of operations and maintenance costs 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.
BSNL will utilise indigenous 4G telecom equipment for the project. The upgradation will enable better internet and data services in these LWE areas and it meets the requirements of the 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 to provide mobile connectivity in rural areas.