BSNL 4G: Development So Far, Active Circles, Acquired Spectrum and More

Government-led telco, BSNL has been somehow surviving the data tariff war amidst the private telcos, and its only resort to profitability is the rollout of a prominent 4G network

By June 11th, 2019 AT 12:15 PM
  • Last year, BSNL was allocated the 2,100 MHz spectrum for rolling out 4G network
  • BSNL has launched 4G services in Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and more

The state-owned telecom operator, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been buried under the immense pressure from the data tariff war which was kick-started by Reliance Jio back in 2016. This pressure of competition from the private telecom operators has dented the financials of the company and has put a noose on its neck to lure subscribers somehow and attempt to head towards profitability. To do that, BSNL has one vital gap to fill, and that is a 4G network. Now we know that the telco has been working on rolling out its 4G network since last year, however, it’s easy to lose track of progress especially when there are so many circles and factors involved. So, here are all the updates about BSNL 4G which will let you know how far the telco has come regarding its 4G network rollout.

BSNL 4G Services in Karnataka

The first big announcement from BSNL about a prominent 4G rollout for its subscribers was in the circle of Karnataka. The telco had announced in June 2018, that it would be rolling out the 4G network in as much as 130 cities of the state. During this, the telco had also said that it would be installing 30,000 towers in the country, out of which 10,000 would be set up in Karnataka alone. It is worth noting that Karnataka remains one of the top circles for BSNL where it has a lot of broadband connection and paying subscribers. As such, the state seemed to be the obvious choice for BSNL 4G network.

Permission to Acquire Airwaves from DoT

Last year in September, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) finally cleared BSNL’s plans of acquiring 4G airwaves. For this, BSNL had compiled and submitted a detailed report to get the 2,100 MHz band with the aim of rolling out 4G services. The total spectrum cost during this was Rs 13,885 out which BSNL had sought Rs 6,652 in the form of equity infusion from the government, which the telco had committed to pay during the next ten years.

BSNL 4G Availability in South-Indian States

Apart from Karnataka, BSNL has also been active with its 4G network in the other South Indian states as well. For example, in Kerala, BSNL is offering 4G and 2G network instead of 3G in almost all cities. The government led telco is also offering 4G services in 25 towns of Telangana and 11 districts of Andhra Pradesh.

A big success for BSNL in its attempt to galvanize the 4G network was the spectrum allocation from DoT in the 2,100 Mhz band. The use of five additional units on the 2,100 MHz spectrum has also given a boost to the 4G network of BSNL. Not only this, but BSNL has also got 4G sites in Chhattisgarh, regions near Nagpur, Gujarat, areas near Pune and central Maharashtra.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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tri_viskarthikShubhamThamilan daaNikhil Mumbai-Pune Recent comment authors
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BSNL has launched 4g on many rural locations with in Gujarat circle. Surprisingly BSNL is emitting all three standards (2g/3g /4g ) with limited spectrum.

Also 3g started last month with 4g at the site’s attached . These were 2g only sites of BSNL with in forest .

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
Nikhil Mumbai-Pune

How come limited? They have 10Mhz in band 1. 5Mhz for 3G and 5Mhz for 4G. Correct me if I am wrong.


In some rural areas, 3G is shutdown by BSNL and 4G is being provided in Gujarat.


They do gave 4G availability in odisha also,Balangir is what it activate in Jan 26th,2019, that’s the only place its available till yet..


I think Bhawanipatna also have BSNL 4G coverage

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