It is already a known news that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has accepted BSNL and MTNL’s proposal for acquiring 4G airwaves. According to the latest information, the DoT will likely approach Union Cabinet in the next two months for the allocation of 4G spectrum to both the government-owned firms. “The draft Cabinet note is expected to be ready in mid-October after which it will be floated for inter-ministerial consultation. Thereafter the DoT will approach the Cabinet with a revised draft note in November,” the source told PTI.
BSNL Already Submitted a Detailed Project Report for 4G Services
BSNL has submitted a detailed project report to the government seeking spectrum for 4G services in lieu of equity. BSNL has sought Rs 6,652 crore as equity infusion from the government to fund its spectrum purchase worth about Rs 13,885 crore, according to information shared by telecom minister Manoj Sinha in Parliament.
BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava had earlier told PTI that the corporation is seeking spectrum in the 2100 MHz band for all circles, except Rajasthan, where the company is looking for spectrum in the 800 MHz band.
MTNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar requested the government to grant it 4G spectrum in lieu of equity worth around Rs 6,500-7,000 crore and extend its mobile licence which is expiring in 2019 till 2021.
Sinha in mid-September had said that survival of BSNL and MTNL without 4G spectrum is tough and the government is working on a strategy to settle issues that have emerged due to some decisions of the apex court.
“I will try by the end of this year, it should not be in 2019, but in 2018, the government should decide on the allocation of 4G spectrum,” Sinha had said.
BSNL has pan-India operations except in Delhi and Mumbai, while MTNL provides services in Delhi and Mumbai circles.
BSNL 4G Services: What to Expect?
BSNL has been promising to launch the 4G services since 2014, but the government never allocated spectrum to the firm. As a result, BSNL 4G services got delayed by a considerable margin. Nevertheless, the time has finally come as the government realises the necessity of 4G services to stay in the competitive Indian telecom market. In other news, BSNL also started issuing 4G SIM cards in some regions, allowing users to get ready for the 4G launch which could happen early next year.
Without 4G services, BSNL had acquired a huge chunk of customers in the last couple of years. And imagine once it rolls out 4G services, the subscriber base growth will be even more.