New Delhi:Bharti Airtel Ltd will set up 2,000 mobile towers across villages and national highways in the North East with the help of government funding, the company said in a press statement on Sunday.

The telecom operator has signed an agreement with the department of telecommunications and the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to provide mobile services in 2,100 villages across Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh over the next 18 months.

The government charges a small fee from telecom operators which goes into the USOF which, in turn, is used to provide connectivity in rural areas of the country.

Bharti Airtel would receive Rs1,610 crores from the USOF for executing the project, the company said.

“This project will provide a massive boost to the telecom connectivity in these areas and connect them with the rest of India and the world," Ajai Puri, chief operating officer, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel said.

Bharti Airtel is India’s largest telecom services provider in terms of revenue and subscriber base.

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