Cabinet approves 2,400-crore project to upgrade to 4G services in left-wing extremism-hit areas

“BSNL will maintain the sites at its own expense for a further five years,” read the official statement

“BSNL will maintain the sites at its own expense for a further five years,” read the official statement

The union cabinet on Wednesday approved a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) project to upgrade 2G mobile services to 4G at security sites in LWE (left-wing extremism) areas at an estimated cost of about £2,426.39 million.

An official statement says the project will upgrade 2,343 Phase I sites from 2G to 4G cellular services at an estimated cost of ₹1,884.59 crore (excluding taxes and duties). “This includes O&M for five years. However, BSNL will maintain the sites at its own expense for a further five years. The work is awarded to him because he owns these pages.

In addition, the Cabinet also approved BSNL’s funding of the operation and maintenance costs of LWE Phase I 2G sites for an extended period beyond the five-year contract term at an estimated cost of ₹541.80 crore. The extension would be up to 12 months from the date of Cabinet approval or 4G sites becoming operational, whichever comes first, it noted.

“The government has selected BSNL for a prestigious project [promote] domestic 4G telecom equipment to achieve self-reliance in the telecom equipment segment to meet the needs of the domestic market, apart from exporting to other markets,” it said, adding that the upgrade would enable better internet and data services in these areas.

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