North-East to have better mobile, broadband, postal connectivity: Sachin Pilot

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New Delhi, July 21 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot, who is on a two-day visit of Mizoram from July 21 to 22, today reviewed the performance of BSNL, Department of Posts, and Department of Information Technology in the North-Eastern Region.

He said the UPA Government is committed to providing easy and affordable access to telephone services to people of the North-East.

Better telephone density and broadband services are the key initiatives of the UPA Government to deliver better government to citizen and business to customer services to the Aam Aadmi.

The NE-1 Circle comprising Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have about 4.4 lakh BSNL mobile subscribers and another 1.6 lakh subscribers would be added during 2010-2011. 342 additional mobile towers would be installed during 2010-2011 to improve coverage.

Over 26,000 3G connections would be added. The Minister specifically instructed all the three Departments to ensure timely implementation of expansion plans in the region.

He said that efforts would be made to ensure that services of BSNL in the region are comparable with the best being offered by any private operator in the region. He further assured that any infrastructure and staffing constraints being faced the departments in the region would be addressed on priority.

To ensure that both basic mobile services and value added products and services are available to the people of the area, Sh. Pilot inaugurated a mobile switching centre in Aizawl. This will enable more efficient handling of the calls and result in improved quality of service.

The Minister also inaugurated BSNL's EVDO services, which provide high-speed broadband connectivity to CDMA mobile users. To ensure that rural users also have access to the same services, the Minister also inaugurated WiMax services in the North-East.

This is a wireless high speed broadband service and makes possible applications like e-medicine and e-learning. There are 19 WiMax Towers at present and 82 more would be commissioned in the current year.

For remote villages where connectivity by conventional means is not feasible, satellite phones are being provided. At present there are 795 such DSPTs (Digital Satellite Phones). 1097 more such satellite phones would be installed in 2010-2011.

The Minister assured the State Government all assistance in implementing IT-related projects. In fact, Aizawl would be developed as an e-district where government functions and processes would be made available to the citizens online.

Pilot said that to attract IT investments to the state, a Software Technology Park would be set up by the Department of Information Technology. This will harness local entrepreneurial energies and boost the economy of the state. (ANI)

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