Telecom Commission to consider BSNL bid for mobile towers in North East

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 28, 2017

Mobile Towers

8,621 out of 9,190 villages to be connected by the project

The Telecom Commission is likely to consider BSNL’s ₹1,648-crore bid for setting up mobile towers in unconnected villages of the North East in its meeting tomorrow, official sources said.

Mobile towers will be installed under the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for the North-Eastern Region (NER) which was approved by the Cabinet in September 2014.

Under the plan, 8,621 villages out of 9,190 unconnected villages are to be covered by installation of 6,673 mobile towers with total outlay of ₹5,336.18 crore.

“Telecom Commission is likely to consider BSNL’s part of North East telecom project tomorrow,” a government official, who did not wish to be named, told PTI.

The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which is handling the project, is likely to submit bid proposal for installing around 4,000 out of the 6,673 mobile towers.

The State-run BSNL has been entrusted with the task of installing network in tough terrain of Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam — Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.

It has submitted bid received from Vihaan Networks Limited and HFCL for installing around 2,000 towers for ₹1,648 crore. These two domestic telecom equipment firms had rolled out mobile network project for BSNL across nine States.

Rest of the project was to be rolled out with help of private telecom operators. After a no show by private telecom players for the tender, the USOF finally received a bid from Bharti Airtel this year which was cleared by the Telecom Commission in its last meeting on September 8.

Airtel has placed a bid for installing around 2,000 mobile towers for around ₹1,660 crore.

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Published on September 28, 2017
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