The Department of Telecom is planning to roll out second phase of the rural mobile project. In its second phase, DoT will roll out another 11,000 cellular towers across 2.4 lakh unconnected villages under the Universal Services Obligation fund.
In its first phase, DoT has set up 7,800 towers and received massive response from the operators. BSNL, Reliance Communications, GTL, and Vodafone Essar were winners in the first round of bidding. DoT has identified Madhya Pradesh where DoT wants to set up nearly 2,000 towers followed by about 1,000 towers in Orissa. The rural mobile project assumes significance as the Government has set a target of 500 million subscribers by 2010.