(ii) Infrastructure Support for Mobile Services (Phase-I):
Under this scheme USO fund will provide subsidy support for setting up and managing 7871 number of infrastructure sites (towards) in 500 districts spread over 27 states for provision of mobile services in the specified rural and remote areas, where there is no existing fixed wireless or mobile coverage.
The infrastructure so created shall be shared by three service providers for provision of mobile services. The agreements effective from 01.06.2007 have been signed with the successful bidders in May 2007. Mobile services from these towers are launched in a phased manner in the year 2008.
(iii) Infrastructure Support for Mobile Services (Phase-II):
It was proposed to cover other uncovered areas in the country through mobile services for which additional towers are being identified. About 11000 towers were installed under the second phase of the scheme, in second quarter of FY 2008-09.
(iv) Rural Wire line Household DELs installed prior to 01.04.2002:
Based on the recommendations of TRAI, Indian Telegraph Rules (ITR) have already been amended to provide subsidy support to BSNL for maintenance of Rural Wire line Household Direct Exchange Lines (DELs) installed prior to 01.04.2002, for a period 3 years with effect from 18.07.2008 subject to ceiling of Rs. 2000 crore per annum for the country.
(v) Broadband Connectivity for Rural Areas:
Under this scheme, 5000 blocks shall be connected by wireless broadband and village coming within a radius of 10 Kms of the Taluka/Block headquarters shall be covered by such connectivity. User ministries such as DIT, HRD, Health, and MHA are being coordinated to firm up their requirements, make the requisite infrastructure ready and prioritize the block-wise villages. Wire line Broadband shall also be supported by USOF wherever feasible.
(vi) Creation of General Infrastructure like OFC in Rural Areas:
USOF has taken initiative to strengthen the OFC network in the rural and remote areas. This scheme considers OFC Network augmentation between the Blocks’ and Districts’ Headquarters (HQ) to begin with. The above Schemes are envisaged to be rolled out in phased manner during the current Five Year Plan (2007-2012).
Some of the Major Policy Initiatives in Telecom:
(i) Detailed guidelines for a controlled, simultaneous, ascending e-auction for spectrum for 3G and BWA service were announced on August 1,2008. The allocation of spectrum for 3G and BWA services will boost telecom sector.
(ii) Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE) concept is being established in a public-private partnership (PPP) mode with all stakeholders onboard, to promote application oriented research and to assist and train high level decision makers to manage sector reforms and corporate managers to manage networks and services.
(iii) To regulate unsolicited calls from telemarketers, a regulation has been implemented with a “National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC). About 7.2 million subscribers have registered on the NDNC and there has been a substantial reduction in unsolicited calls.
(iv) It has been decided that there should be no cap on the number of access providers in any service area.
(v) On March 3, 2008, selective roaming facility for pre-paid subscribers between Assam and North-east and vice-versa were permitted subject to certain conditions.
(vi) On July 11, 2008, provision of mobile service within 500 metres of the international border within Indian Territory has been permitted.