Tower density to rise from 0.4 to 1/1,000 people by 2024

The pandemic has shown how digital has become the backbone of our economy, aiding businesses and offices, education and entertainment from home. The government wants adequate enablers to be in place to support the growth of digital infrastructure as internet becomes central to a variety of tasks,” sources said.

The push to towers — often at the receiving end of resident welfare associations over radiation concerns — will see their density go up from 0. 4/1,000 population to 1/1,000 population by the end of March 2024.

“At present, 6. 8 lakh towers have been installed across the country. More than 15 lakh towers are to be installed by FY24. Consultations will be held with stakeholders to plan a strategy for faster fiberisation,” a source said. Currently, around 34% of the towers have been fiberised in India. The plan is to take this up to 70% by end of March 2024.

Experts believe that as spectrum holdings of telecom companies get stronger through regular auctions, the next set of efforts is needed in infrastructure development.

“With a robust 5G infrastructure, India will empower innovators to help create new businesses, services and experiences to benefit sectors across domains,” Avishkar Misra, who heads data science at TracFone Wireless, a Verizon subsidiary, said.

The government also wants to set up a National Fibre Authority on the lines of other regulatory authorities.

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