Bhubaneswar, Jan 5: State-owned BSNL will start 5G services by April 2024, Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday.
BSNL has shortlisted a TCS and C-DOT-led consortium for rolling out the 4G network, which will be upgraded to 5G in about a year of placing the order under the contract.
"BSNL 5G services will be available from March or April 2024. It is progressing very fast. In 2023, we will see rapid roll out of 4G and 5G in 2024," Vaishnaw said while speaking to reporters here.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event to launch the 5G services of Jio and Airtel in Odisha. Vaishnaw along with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the services.
"Entire Odisha will be covered by 5G services in 2 years. Today, 5G services have been launched in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack," the telecom minister said.
He had committed to launch 5G services in the state before January 26.
"It has just been three months of 5G launch and we are seeing the fastest rollout of 5G networks in India," the minister said.
Vaishnaw said that the Modi government has allocated Rs 5,600 crore for strengthening the telecom connectivity in the state.
"100 towers for 4G services covering 100 villages in Odisha have been launched today," he said.
The minister said that the Centre plans to install 5,500 mobile towers for 4G services across all 7,500 villages in the state by August 15, 2024.
"It is our internal target to complete the installation of 5,500 towers by August 15, 2024. These will be for 4G services but later on upgraded to 5G as well," Vaishnaw said.
Out of the total 5,500, Vaishnaw inaugurated 100 towers that will provide 4G services to over 100 villages.
The minister announced that Software Technology Parks of India will set up 8 centres to encourage startups in the state.
He said that the centres are planned to be set up in Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Jaipur, Angul and Koraput by December 2023.
During the launch event, Siksha O Anusandhan University signed a memorandum of understanding with Reliance Jio for setting up a 5G lab. The lab will provide hands-on experience of the latest 5G technology and improve employment potential for students in Odisha. PTI PRS BAL BAL
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