BSNL, MTNL to switch to 4G by end of this year: Minister

State-run telecom companies Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are likely to switch to 4G network by the end of 2022, said Minister of State (MoS) for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan, Monday.

Interacting with officials of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and postal department in Ekta Nagar, Kevadia, the minister said the villages in Gujarat that do not have mobile network connectivity will be covered by the year-end.

A release quoted Chauhan as saying, “Gujarat is a border state and the telecom department has chosen 60 villages from the security perspective for installing 50 new mobile towers at a cost of Rs 41 crore. Of these, 37 villages have been covered while the remaining 13 villages will get mobile connectivity by June.”

Adding that there’s a definite plan to connect six lakh villages across the country with high-speed fiber broadband and mobile services, the minister said, “The government has decided to provide fibre connectivity to all 14,622 gram panchayats (in Gujarat) of which work is on for installing fibre connectivity in the last phase of 4,400 villages.”

He added 11 new post offices are being constructed and plans are in the pipeline for 17 additional post offices in Gujarat. By July 31, 1.25 lakh accounts of Sukanya Samruddhi scheme will be opened in the state, he said.

On the sidelines of the event, Chauhan also said the 5G spectrum will be rolled out by December-end across India. “We are setting up the infrastructure for 5G spectrum, which will soon see auctions… Many people have expressed apprehensions about health hazards associated with the mobile towers, but there has been no scientific backing to these claims,” the minister said.

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