11K Villages Miss Mobile

While only 35,000 villages in the country are uncovered by Mobile Connectivity, out of which more than 11,000 villages are in Odisha.

Mobile Service is fast moving in the country; however this Eastern State continues to be “Connection Deficit” Zone with more than11,000 villages are still uncovered, which is highest.

Tele Density in Odisha is 77 Percent, while it is 91 Percent in India.

And out of 51,353 villages in Odisha, 11, 078 villages are left unconnected as there is no Mobile Service in these far flung zones, officials say.

While Department of Telecommunication has initiated an exercise to identify the villages having “No Mobile” Connectivity, it came to fore that situation in Odisha is grave.

Similarly there is hardly any mobile connectivity in Maoist Affected Areas of the State and accordingly the State Government has brought up the matter to the notice of Ministry of Communications.

“There is virtually no data facility available in the Red Corridors as installed Mobile Towers are having low radiating antennas with low bandwidth, reveals a latest report on Mobile Connectivity in Maoist Affected Areas of the State”, a senior official said.

While Ministry of Home Affairs has sanctioned 794 Mobile towers to be installed in Left Wing Extremist (LWE) Affected Areas, 253 Mobile Towers are erected in these areas already. Rest 541 Mobile towers are being deployed in the LWE Zones.

However, where these 253 Mobile Towers are erected in Maoist Zones are practically serving little purpose as the Towers with low radiating antennas also having low bandwidth. So for receiving a call and answering it is just not possible, admit Top Cops engaged in anti-Maoist Operations.

While MHA has provided so much of funds for installation of these Mobile Towers in the Red Zones, purpose is defeated as anyone can hardly talk or data can be transferred.

So basic purpose is defeated because of the low coverage and very poor data facility, alleged a senior official serving in a commercial bank.

Banks in these areas are not able to handle transactions due to want of data connectivity, said the officer.

While these 253 Mobile Towers are placed in the Police Station Campuses in the Maoist Zones, other 451 Mobile Towers will also be erected inside the Police Station for safety.

Unless Ministry of Communications (MoC) improves data capacity of these Mobile Towers, purpose of setting up of all these 794 Mobile Towers in Maoist Zones will be defeated, admit officials.

Under this backdrop, State Government has requested Union Government to deploy more resources in Odisha for improving Mobile Connectivity and improve data connectivity of the Mobile Towers.

It is essential to pump more funds from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), through which entire Mobile, Internet and Broadband Connectivity if funded, said an officer.

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