Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the state-owned telecommunications company in India, has confirmed that it has no plans to increase its tariffs as it gears up to launch its long-awaited 4G services across the country. The assurance was given by Sandeep Govil, the company's board director, during a meeting held in Chennai to discuss the timelines for the commercial rollout of 4G services in the southern zone, according to a report by The Hindu.
BSNL, known for its competitive pricing, is determined to maintain affordable tariffs for its customers even with the introduction of 4G services. "Our tariffs will be competitive. There are no plans as of now to increase the tariffs," the report quoted Govil in saying.
To support the nationwide 4G expansion, BSNL has already placed orders with Tata Consultancy Services and ITI Limited for the supply and commissioning of 4G indigenous core and 1 lakh 4G Base Transceiver Station (BTS) towers. The total cost of the order is estimated to be around Rs 19,000 crore. As part of the 4G project, BSNL has chosen a consortium of firms, including TCS for software support and system integration, CDOT for core technology, and Tejas for radio network deployment.
Govil shared additional details regarding the implementation timeline, stating that equipment delivery is expected to commence in September or October. BSNL aims to commission one lakh BTS towers within a year, ensuring comprehensive 4G network coverage. Notably, the equipment being procured is 5G upgradeable, indicating BSNL's readiness to transition to 5G technology soon after launching 4G services.
As part of the 4G rollout, Tamil Nadu will witness significant upgrades, with 8,000 BTS towers set to be enhanced and an additional 1,500 new BTS towers to be installed, facilitating a robust 4G network in the region.
In parallel, the Indian government has approved a scheme to provide 4G mobile coverage to previously underserved villages across the country.
According to the report, 431 villages have been allotted for Tamil Nadu under the scheme, including remote areas such as Sathyamangalam forest, Kolli hills, Yercaud, and Jawadhumalai. With a total of 19,722 mobile towers, the project aims to extend coverage to a remarkable 29,616 villages nationwide, with completion targeted for December.
This significant development from BSNL, backed by the government's ambitious plan to expand 4G coverage to rural areas, highlights a collective effort to bridge the digital divide and ensure connectivity reaches every corner of the nation.