Telecommunication companies (telcos) need to raise the number of 5G towers being installed every week to at least 10,000 per week, up from the current 2,500 per week, Minister for Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event organised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Vaishnaw said as many as 8,000 towers have been set up so far and the government is ready to help telcos scale up 5G infrastructure with whatever policy support they need, but the speed of 5G roll-out is to be maintained.

“I have a small request for telcos. Now we are installing around 2,500 base transceiver stations (BTS) or towers per week. That is a bit low. We need to be installing at least 10,000 BTS per week,” said Vaishnaw.

A BTS is a fixed radio transceiver in any mobile network, most often in the form of a tower. It is used to facilitate wireless communication between subscriber device and telecommunication (telecom) operator network.

He added that 163 handset models have also been enabled with over-the-air software updates.

Vaishnaw also said the deadline for submission of stakeholder comments on the draft telecom Bill may be extended to November 10, from October 30.

“My request to all industry stakeholders and bodies is to submit their responses by November 10, so that we can take up the draft Bill to Parliament,” said Vaishnaw.

The minister said the relevant standing committee has decided to take up any recommendations on the Bill in the draft stage itself, so that it can be taken straight to Parliament. 

Vaishnaw said one more draft of the Bill would be released after incorporating comments from all stakeholders.