Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is expected to roll out 4G networks across India by the end of 2022 if things remain good and timely. The state-run telco has faced many roadblocks whenever it tried to roll out 4G networks. In fact, BSNL had to scrap its initial 4G tender because of the interference from some institutions/bodies arguing that the telco is not prioritising Indian vendors for the network rollout. But now, it seems like if things go smoothly, BSNL will finally be able to roll out 4G networks PAN-India. Here’s all you should know about the developments on the matter.
BSNL Hybrid 4G Plans
Since the telco was being questioned over its approach on prioritising foreign vendors over the Indian companies for the 4G rollout, BSNL has come up with a clever workaround for the same. The state-run telco has proposed a hybrid 4G tender which will include both the Indian and foreign companies.
BSNL doesn’t have the time to wait for the Indian companies to come up with the Proof of Concept (PoC). Thus the telco proposed to divide the tender into two parts. The first part consisting of 50,000 sites, would be reserved for the Indian vendors and the other 57,000 parts for the foreign vendors.
This way, BSNL can start working with the foreign vendors on the 57,000 sites, and until then, the Indian companies can work on generating the PoC. However, the state-run telco has assured that if any Indian company can generate PoC on time, it can also be a part of the 57,000 sites reserved for foreign vendors.
BSNL Needs 4G to Survive
BSNL needs 4G desperately to survive, and there are no two sides to this statement. The state-run telco is only running today because of the revival packages and the support from the government. If the telco didn’t have the support of the government, it would have been out of business by now.
But the worst part is, if BSNL doesn’t rollout of 4G fast, it would mean the government would have to use more of taxpayers’ money to keep the company alive. This is not good for the country or its economy.
One positive for the telco is that it has already received a nod from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Empowered Technology Group (ETG) for its hybrid 4G plans. The telco had also reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier for the same. But since the announcement of the hybrid 4G tender and the request for approval from various groups/institutions, the developments about the matter have gone cold.
There have been no announcements from the telco about its 4G plans in recent days, which points towards another delay. If BSNL doesn’t step on the gas and move fast, it would be catastrophic for the telecom industry and the economy of the country as well.