Internet connections in the country have reached 833.7 million in June 2021, of which 790 million are broadband connections, data shared by department of telecommunications (DoT) said. Sharing the highlights of 2021, the DoT said average monthly data consumption per wireless data subscriber increased to 14 GB in June 2021 from 61.66 MB in March 2014, while the average revenue realisation per subscriber per GB wireless data reduced to Rs 9.8 in June 2021 from Rs 268.97 in December 2014, a reduction of more than 96%.
Total telephone connections in the country rose to 1,189 million in September 2021 from 930 million in March 2014, a growth of 28%.Regarding the BharatNet project, the DoT said in 2021, (till October 31), a total number of 17,232 gram panchayats have been made service ready, of which 16,344 gram panchayats are on optical fiber cable and 888 panchayats are on satellite media.
The scope of BharatNet project has now been extended to reach all villages in the country in accordance with the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2020.On June 30, 2021, the government accorded approval for a revised strategy for implementation of BharatNet through public-private partnership (PPP) model in 16 states of the country covering about 3.61 lakh villages (including 1.37 lakh GPs).
Regarding the indigenous 5G test bed, the government said the project is likely to be completed by December 31. The Rs 224 crore project funded by DoT, has 8 implementing agencies — IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, SAMEER and CEWiT, which have been working over a period of 36 months. The successful completion will pave way for end-to-end testing of 5G user equipment and network equipment by stakeholders including indigenous start-ups, SMEs, academia and industry.
The indigenous 5G test bed will enable development, testing and proliferation of 5G technology system components, cross-sectoral use-cases, besides setting up foundation for the development of “6G Technology landscape” in the country.With regard to rollout of 5G services, telecom service providers — Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea — have established 5G trials sites in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jamnagar, Ahmadabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune and Gandhi Nagar. These metros and big cities would be the first places for launch of 5G services in the country, next year.