Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is soon going to launch 4G networks in India. Earlier, there were reports suggesting that BSNL would delay its 4G launch in the nation to 2023 because of equipment procurement issues. But now, a PTI report quoting BSNL CMD (Chairman and Managing Director), P K Purwar, the state-run telco, would start rolling out 4G from November 2022. Then, the telco would also launch 5G services on August 15, 2023. As per the report, this will be the first 4G rollout from BSNL (using homegrown technology).
The C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics) led consortium, which includes TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), is working together with BSNL to help the state-run telco deploy homegrown 4G as soon as possible. As for 5G, the CMD just reaffirmed what the telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said for the 5G rollout of BSNL - August 15, 2023.
Purwar was speaking at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022, being held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. He also talked about digital inclusiveness and the need to connect the unconnected with digital technologies. The report mentions Purwar talking about India having one of the lowest average revenue per user (ARPU) and looking at it if it is sustainable.
Purwar questioned whether the current level of ARPU is sustainable in India and how it will be possible for the telcos to drive investments with the current ARPU. The PTI report quoted Purwar saying, "we need to balance out these things."
BSNL's ARPU should drive up once the telco is able to launch 4G services. C-DoT has already launched the indigenous 5G core in the country. Thus 5G launch of BSNL could be possible once the pilot tests are confirmed. If you want to read about BSNL's 5G pilots and all.