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BSNL to expand mobile network in North East
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State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) today said it plans to add 4.16 lakh more subscribers during 2010-11 in the North East with a planned outlay of about Rs 384 crore, in a bid to expand connectivity in the border states of the country.

"During 2010-11, BSNL plans to add additional capacity of 4.16 lakh connections and 843 new mobile base stations in the North East. There are also plans to provide 40,000 broadband connections in the region," an official statement said here.

Earlier this month, Minister of State for Communication and IT Sachin Pilot visited Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to review the activities of BSNL, especially services in rural and remote areas and quality of services, Department of Posts and Department of IT.

During his visit, a special package of 33 USOF towers, essential for providing coverage in rural villages of Mizoram, was also approved, the statement said.

Under the USOF Scheme, set up by the government for delivering telecom services in rural areas, it was decided to set up 988 towers in border areas of the country in phase I.

He has also written to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for providing a subsidy support of Rs 125 crore for new towers to be erected in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Rajasthan.

Pilot has proposed a direct budgetary support to BSNL, which would be adjusted from the USO Fund, to tackle the issue of critical investment in telecom infrastructure in these areas.

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