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Mobile services to be provided in rural areas

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Nov 21: Bids will be invited from the district or group of districts where there is no existing fixed wireless or cellular coverage while setting up mobile services in rural areas of the country.

The infrastructure providers shall set up and manage the infrastructure sites as per Part-A of the scheme. The height of the tower shall be 40 meters to accommodate three service providers as per the tower design provided in the draft tender document. The infrastructure so created shall be owned by the Infrastructure Providers.

In the draft tender document for mobile services under the USO fund, the Department of Telecommunications has placed a draft tender document on its website (www.dot.gov.in) for inviting suggestions and comments from telecom industries for providing subsidy support under USO Fund to set up and manage infrastructure sites and provision of mobile services in the specified rural and remote areas of the country.

The draft tender document has been prepared on the basis of the rules framed under Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Ordinance, 2006 and rules framed therein for implementation of Universal Service Obligation.

It may be recalled that TRAI had earlier made recommendations on the subject based on detailed consultation process with interested parties.

The scheme relates to setting up of infrastructure sites comprising of land, tower, electrical connection, power back up, boundary wall and security cabin to be supported by USO Fund while also related to provisioning of mobile services.

The shortlisted Infrastructure Providers Category-I (IP-Is), CMTS Providers and UASLs, termed as ''Infrastructure Providers'', are eligible to participate.

The infrastructure provider will have to commission at least 40 per cent of the infrastructure sites in the service area within 6 months period and the remaining 60 per cent within 12 months period of the signing of the agreement.

Support to the infrastructure provider will be in the form of a percentage of the capital recovery and shall be payable as subsidy provided each year on quarterly basis in arrears for a period of five years on the basis of the outcome of the bidding process.

During the first five years of operation, the infrastructure providers will not charge any rental from the Universal Service Providers (USPs) for using the infrastructure for provisioning of mobile services. Fixed routine maintenance expenses and recurring operational expenses shall be recovered by Infrastructure Provider from USPs.

The USPs shall provide the mobile services using the shareable infrastructure. The equipment so installed shall be owned by the USPs. The USP shall retain the revenue generated from the operation of the mobile services.

The USP shall provide the mobile services within two months of the commissioning of the infrastructure site by the infrastructure Provider.

The space on the tower at a specified height shall be utilised by any agency as specified by administrator for which no payment shall be liable to be paid to the infrastructure provider/ USP.

UNI

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