BSNL has under its sleeves the programme of improving mobile connectivity in the State. An aspect of the scheme is to replace Basic Transmission Station (BTS) of Erickson-make with ZTE at some selected places and induct the replaced BTS along the border line with specifications that signals are not caught beyond the specific limits. However, execution of this scheme has been delayed because out of 120 more additional BSNL mobile towers, sanctioned for J&K by the Ministry of Telecommunication, 84 are yet to be installed as delay in supply of batteries is holding up swap and re-deployment work. Ending March 2014 was the time limit allowed for the completion of the project and it seems that this may be delayed. According to the sources, first phase of the project is almost complete with 40 Erickson make BTS fully replaced by ZTE-make new equipment in Doda area while 36 of the replaced BTS have been re-deployed in the areas of Jammu, Srinagar, Leh, Rajouri and made operational. Under the second phase, remaining 80 new BTS of ZTE have been physically installed in Udhampur but owing to delay in delivery of high capacity batteries of 2000 ampere with 12- hour back-up, these are yet to be made operational.
BSNL has done yeoman’s work in bringing connectivity to the entire State including its remote and far off places. It is appreciable. Also its efforts of upgrading connectivity and mobile facilities are welcome. When the proposed 120 additional towers are made functional, it will immensely enhance mobile connectivity and also the quality of connectivity. However, in the case of broadband services, we expect the BSNL to provide higher speed and better services to the users of internet.
No doubt the BSNL is sensitive to security related matters, but we would like to emphasize that in view of militants still active across the LoC on PoK side, all efforts shall have to be made to ensure that our adversaries do not try to infringe our security arrangement once our border population is provided the facility of mobile telephone service.