Union Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Milind Deora informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that about 37,000 villages in the country are yet to be connected with mobile connectivity as per the analysis carried out by CDOT (Centre for Development of Telematics) based on the WPC (Wireless Planning & Coordination Cell) data of March, 2011.
"BSNL has planned to provide connectivity to uncovered villages through Digital Satellite Phone Terminal (DSPT) technology and the technically feasible villages are expected to be provided with VPT facility by 31.03.2013. As per the National Telecom Policy - 2012, approved by the Government on 31.05.2012, it is proposed to increase rural teledensity from current level of around 39 to 70 by the year 2017 and 100 by the year 2020," Deora said.
"There have been delays in provisioning of mobile services by Universal Service Providers (USPs) under the Shared Mobile Infrastructure Scheme of USOF. Shared Mobile Infrastructure Scheme was launched by USO Fund to provide subsidy support for setting up and managing 7,353 infrastructure sites/ towers in 500 districts spread over 27 states for provision of mobile services in the specified rural and remote areas, where there was no existing fixed wireless or mobile coverage," he said.
" Villages or cluster of villages having population of 2000 or more and not having mobile coverage were taken into consideration for installation of the tower under this scheme. The agreements were signed with the successful bidders in May 2007. As on 31.07.2012, 7,307 towers i.e. about 99.37% had been set up under this scheme," he said.