Arunachal Pradesh: State’s 336 villages get over 250 new 4G towers
The move will provide much-needed Internet and broadband connectivity to at least 70,000 residents around villages near the LAC in the Indian territory.
ITANAGAR- In a big boost for connectivity across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh, the government of India has installed 254 new 4G network towers and made them operational in 336 villages.
The move will provide much-needed Internet and broadband connectivity to at least 70,000 residents around villages near the LAC in the Indian territory. The move comes even as China continues to expand infrastructure near the frontier regions of LAC.
These villages, it is being said, remained unconnected ever since India’s independence. This is a boost for the Indian army and security forces in the region as well as the residents. The towers have been installed by both private and Government telecom operators.
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Speaking on this occasion, Telecom Minister Ashwani Vaishnav interacted with villagers in Bonga village in the lower Dibang valley district, which is connected all the way to New Delhi via the internet. This village has been connected for the first time.
“We can now video call our relatives, we can do banking also,” a beneficiary said.
At least 15 Bongo village households have received 4G Internet for the first time since independence.
The government hopes for the re-population of such sparsely populated villages, which are often left by people due to migration to more connected and well-settled regions.
“We have a long road ahead of us. Finish remaining towers in a time-bound manner,” said Arunachal CM Pema Khandu.
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Deputy CM Chowna Mein said, “Our Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), soldiers at the border, army, border security force (BSF), and services selection board (SSB) will also benefit from it, it is historic. We have come far from those days, when we would only depend on subscriber trunk dialling (STD) lines and pray to get connected.“
Zemithang village in Tawang is just a few kilometres from the LAC. The village, which has seen incursions from Chinese soldiers these past few months is now being connected via mobile towers.
“These are not the last villages of India – they are the first villages of the nation. Sparsely and less connected areas must compulsorily be given a mobile tower, this is our top priority,” said the deputy CM.
“Under the 4G saturation project, out of 2,424 sites for 4G services in North East, 270 sites will be connected through optical fibre, 1,237 through microwave and 917 sites will be connected through very small aperture terminal (VSAT),” said union law minister Kiren Rijiju at a press conference in Itanagar.
“At least 1156 more towers need to be operationalised in near future,” said Pema Khandu. The target is to connect the entire state of Arunachal, which currently has over 4,000 mobile towers, by March 2024.
Kiren Rijiju also said that the target is that in the next 6–7 months, every border village in Arunachal Pradesh will be connected via 4G network.
“1156 locations have been surveyed. The locations of unconnected villages, which is to be connected, have been identified,” he said.