Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the state-owned BSNL will commence 5G services in 2024.
It has shortlisted a TCS and C-DOT led consortium for the 4G network rollout.
This 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 rollout of 4G and 5G in 2024,” Vaishnaw said.
Target set for Independence Day 2024
He was speaking at an event to launch 5G services of Jio and Airtel in Odisha.
He 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.
Further, he assured that the entirety of Odisha will be covered by 5G services in 2 years.
Rural areas covered as well
“Today, 5G services have been launched in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack,” the telecom minister promised.
Out of the total 5,500, Vaishnaw inaugurated 100 towers that will provide 4G services to over 100 villages.
Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman said that the government has also dedicated 100 towers for 4G services in rural areas of the state.
“It has just been three months of 5G launch and we are seeing the fastest rollout of 5G networks in India,” the minister said.
The 5G services of Jio and Airtel were unveiled by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Vaishnaw at the event.
Jio said that its 5G network will expand rapidly, covering the cities of Rourkela, Berhampur, Puri, Sambalpur, and Balasore by February 2023, and subsequently reach all tehsils and talukas by December 2023.
It will also set up a 5G lab which will provide hands-on experience of the latest 5G technology and improve employment potential for students in Odisha.