J-K still on 2G, Jio launches 4G in Ladakh’s remote areas

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Telecom giant Reliance Jio has launched its 4G services in the remotest regions of Ladakh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal Tuesday said.

The company inaugurated four new mobile towers in Pibiting, Padium, Akshow and Abran in the remote region of Zanskar in Kargil district. The towers were built using funds from the central government’s Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), Mr. Namgyal said, who launched them on Tuesday, Medianama reported.

The development comes even as Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) faces internet restrictions in one from or another since August 2019.

Mr. Namgyal, in a series of tweets, expressed his “gratitude” to Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd, for “connecting the remotest parts of Ladakh”. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Minister for IT and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad. He added that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sanctioned 54 towers for the union territory.

Internet in Jammu and Kashmir has been blocked or throttled since August 2019, when the government abrogated Article 370 — which previously granted special status to the state.

It was only in January this year that fixed line services and 2G mobile data services were restored. Multiple extensions of the restrictions have been issued so far. The current restrictions, which are in place till November 12, entail 4G to be restricted all over the region , except Ganderbal and Udhampur districts.

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