The Union Cabinet has approved a project worth Rs 263.16 billion for provision of 4G mobile services in all uncovered villages of the country. The project entails upgrading 2G/3G connectivity to 4G in 6,279 villages, in a bid to accomplish the target to provide 4G mobile services in 24,680 uncovered villages in remote and difficult areas. The project cost cited above included capital expenditure (CapEx) and a 5 years operational expenditure (OpEx).
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will serve as the executing agency for the project. The operator will be using the homegrown 4G stack and will be funded through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
In addition, the project has a provision to include 20 per cent additional villages on account of rehabilitation, new settlements, withdrawal of services by existing operators, etc.. The project will promote the delivery of various e-governance services, banking services, telemedicine, tele-education, etc. through mobile broadband and generate employment in rural areas.