NEW DELHI: The government is planning to equip mobile towers with solar power kits to keep them running even during instances of power failure, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha informed the Parliament on Friday.
Replying to queries raised during question hour on the poor state of internet connectivity in rural India, Sinha said that the plan has been envisaged to enhance the quality of internet connectivity in such regions and that with solar power kits, mobile towers would not be entirely dependent on conventional power supply.
Sinha also addressed queries on the status of state-run telecom majors BSNL and MTNL, stating that BSNL had turned around its loss-making operations had posted an operating profit.
“There are around 4.61 lakh mobile towers in the country out of which BSNL has 66,771 mobile towers. Government has approved hiving off mobile tower assets of BSNL into a separate company fully owned by the BSNL. The subsidiary company may monetise its assets on achieving financial health and stability,” Sinha said.
He also added that a proposal had been submitted by BSNL on rolling out 4G services and is currently being examined. Sinha pointed out that in 2011, there were over 53,000 villages with no internet connectivity through mobile phones, but, the number has come down to 30,000 now. The Centre has also asked states to identify unconnected villages to ensure that internet services could be provided to them too.