50,000 villages don't have mobile networks: Govt
Mobile network has not yet reached around 50,000 villages across the country, the government said on Wednesday.
There are many locations in the Northeast, Naxal-hit states, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep where mobile network has not reached yet, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said in Lok Sabha.
"We have never claimed that mobile network has reached all over the country. There are around 50,000 villages where mobile network has not reached," he said.
The Minister said he has written to all states to inform his Ministry how many of the villages in their state the mobile network has not reached.
Sinha said an ambitious project 'BharatNet' is being implemented for providing 100 mbps broadband connectivity to all Gram Panchayats, approximately 2,50,000, in the country. The phase-I to connect 1,00,000 GPs is being implemented currently, he said.
"As on March 31, 2017, trenching and ducting has been completed for 11,294 km (4,780 GPs), Optical Fibre Cable has been laid for 12,172 km (4,213 GPs) and 443 GPs have been provided with broadband connectivity," he said.
Replying to a supplementary, the Minister said the problem of call drops has been resolved to a great extent and as per a survey of TRAI, the call drop situation has been improved by 60 per cent.
He said with the allocation of more spectrum through auction and installations of BTS (Base transceiver station) in more areas, call drop problem has been improving. Replying to another question, Sinha said the government has no plans to offer shares of BSNL to its employees and the company is making operating profit in last two years after increasing the customer base.