"To improve coverage and data speed, BSNL is augmenting its network by adding IP based 10,502 new Node Bs (3G antenna) and 14,263 base transceiver stations (generally for 2G) in the network as part of phase 7 expansion plan," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

Similarly, MTNL is adding 3,526 mobile sites which include both 2G and 3G equipments for enhancing coverage in Delhi and Mumbai.

"MTNL is augmenting network by adding 1,080 Node-Bs and 800 BTSs in Delhi and 1,080 Node-Bs and 566 BTSs in Mumbai," Prasad said.

He mentioned that both public sector units are making changes in their network that will enhance 3G download speed by about six times.

"BSNL and MTNL are also upgrading their existing high speed downlink packet access 3G network supporting download speed of 3.6 Mbps and upload speed of 384 Kbps to support high speed packet access with download speed of 21.1 Mbps and upload speed of 5.76 Mbps per sector in each node-B," he said.

To a question on the steps the government proposes to take in increasing average peak speed of internet in the country, Prasad said that national optical fibre network, which aims to connect all 2.5 lakh village panchayats in the country with broadband by 2017, will provide capacity of 100 Mbps to each panchayat.

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