Explaining the salient features of the plan, the Divisional Engineer, BSNL Mobile Services, R. Venkataramanan told that work was apace on increasing the number of towers from the existing 64 to 105 at an estimated cost of about Rs. 20 crore.Pointing out that the base transmitter stations of varying sizes would come up in places like Sandhanamalai, Nellakottai, Athipalli, Kokkalada, Sandynullah, Archiden, Jakkanarai and Katteri, he said that they are expected to start functioning before the end of the year.
Acknowledging the help being extended by the district administration in acquiring sites for erecting the towers, he said that since many parts of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve were now out of range, efforts are on to get a suitable place at Theppakadu.He said that towers would not be pressed into service without a structural soundness certificate from the civil wing of the BSNL. They should withstand wind speeds up to 180 km. per hour.
Disclosing that high priority was being accorded to the provision of 3G services in the Nilgiris, Mr. Venkataramanan said that initially they would be available in Ooty and Coonoor.To enable subscribers to benefit from the 3G services 13 towers would be upgraded and five erected with the required facilities.He said that the services are likely to be available by October. A gateway linking the Coimbatore server would also be installed here.
At present, there are about one lakh pre-paid subscribers and around 20,000 post-paid subscribers in the Nilgiris.