The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) said that it decided to observe a Black Day on October 1, 2020 over the denial of 4G technology to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The umbrella organisation of all the employees’ unions of the state-run telecom operator on Tuesday said in a circular that the “cancellation of BSNL’s 4G tender has done great harm for the revival of BSNL.” It has to be noted that the Indian government in October 2019, approved a “revival plan” of BSNL and MTNL with the measures included the allotment of spectrum for 4G services.
Government Does Not Want BSNL to Launch 4G Services: AUAB
BSNL in early 2020 issued a tender that required the vendors to deal with the “commissioning and annual maintenance of 4G mobile network.” The operator highlighted that the winners of the tender would deal with around 50,000 sites of BSNL and 7000 sites of MTNL in Delhi and Mumbai.
The tender was estimated to be opened in late June following multiple delays. However, the confrontation between the Chinese soldiers and Indian soldiers resulted in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) placing restrictions on BSNL sourcing telecom gear from Chinese vendors. In mid July, the operator cancelled its 4G tender.
The AUAB on Tuesday said that “there is no credible domestic manufacturer of 4G equipments.”
“In such a situation, the cancellation of BSNL’s 4G tender, on the plea that, BSNL has violated the norms of Prime Minister’s Make in India policy is untenable,” the AUAB said in its circular. “This clearly indicates that the government does not want BSNL to launch its 4G service.”
The AUAB said that the roadblocks that are being created in the launch of BSNL 4G services has resulted in BSNL’s revival “next to impossible.”
“Thus, the future of BSNL, as well as the future of its employees is becoming dark,” the AUAB said. “Under these circumstances, the AUAB decides to observe a Black Day on 1st October, 2020, to express the anguish and agony of the BSNL employees, over the denial of 4G technology to BSNL and thereby ruining its future.”
The umbrella organisation has asked its employees to wear black badges while being on duty on October 1, 2020. Further, the AUAB said that it has decided to organise a “hunger strike” on the same day, demanding BSNL management and the Indian government to take “immediate steps” in launching BSNL 4G services.
AUAB to Observe “Customer Delight Month” in October
The AUAB has also asked its employees to observe a “Customer Delight Month” from October 1, 2020. The umbrella organisation in the circular asked its employees to dedicate the month of October for “improving the quality of services” and also to bring in new landline, broadband and mobile users.
“The AUAB also calls on the employees to utilise this full month for contacting the customers and to know their grievances, with the view to find solution to them,” it said.
Crucially, it was also highlighted that the faults on landlines, Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) and broadband connections “have increased tremendously” post the operator outsourcing its network maintenance and customer services.
“As a result, a lot of broadband and landline connections are getting disconnected,” the AUAB said. “This is a matter of serious concern to the employees. It is decided that, the AUAB shall write to the CMD BSNL, requesting to take immediate steps to overcome this undesirable situation.”