11 December 2017 Current Affairs: Airtel set to boost mobile connectivity; will provide 2,100 uncovered villages and national highways of Northeast region over 18 months. A MoU was signed by the Department of Telecom DoT with Bharti Airtel.
They have signed an agreement with DoT and the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) for the provision of mobile services in identified uncovered villages and national highways in the northeastern states of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.
As the largest operator in the northeastern states, Airtel will set up over 2,000 mobile towers and sites in unconnected pockets of the region to deliver telecom connectivity in over 2,100 villages over the next 18 months.
There are 43,200 villages in this region and 21% of these villages have no mobile network of any sort. Airtel will become the only operator to offer 2G/3G/4G services in the region. In 2014, the centre approved the implementation of a telecom development plan for the Northeast and estimated an expenditure of nearly Rs 5,300 Crore.