Many people believe that 5G networks will take over India in a year or two. Almost all of them fail to understand that the relevant use cases of 5G for normal consumers are far too few at the moment. Whether mobile speeds are 200 Mbps or 100 Mbps, it won’t make a lot of difference for a lot of consumers. Thus, while 5G is exciting, it is not of much use for an average user if he/she is connected to a strong 4G network. Here is where Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will come with its 4G networks and make an impact.
BSNL 4G Networks Could Result In Less Congestion
When it comes to normal consumers, the telcos will focus on providing excellent 4G coverage for at least the next five to six years. All of the next four to five years will be gone for the telcos in improving their 4G networks and coverage.
With true 4G, Indians might experience internet download speeds of up to 50 to 60 Mbps very easily at all times. At present, the 4G services are offered by only three operators in the country - Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, and Bharti Airtel.
Due to a fewer number of operators and hundreds of millions of 4G mobile consumers, the 4G networks of the three private operators get congested. This happens way too frequently for some consumers. The reason is limited spectrum holdings and also the limited capacity to invest in the networks.
BSNL can change the game here, though. The state-run telco can offer a strong 4G coverage throughout the country. The state-run telco might not offer the fastest network experience, but what it can ensure is PAN-India coverage. This will be enough for a lot of consumers to latch on to the telco’s networks because of its affordable plans.
This will put the private operators in a fix as well. They will finally be threatened by what BSNL is doing. Further, the fact that BSNL will be rolling out 4G networks built with the help of indigenous or homegrown equipment, it will also give the state-run telco a chance to upgrade to 5G with the help of homegrown equipment. For now, it looks like the 4G tender from BSNL will go to the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
While many people believe that BSNL is wasting taxpayers money, there is a strong reason to believe that it can take off the demand load from the 4G networks of the private operators. The private operators don’t provide 4G coverage in every part of the country because it is not economically feasible or profitable for them.
But BSNL looks at the business in a little different way. Since it is a state-run telecom company, it wants the citizens of the country, regardless of wherever they are, to keep getting network coverage whether it is profitable for the company or not. Just like BSNL has a bigger network of fixed broadband in India, it can easily make a bigger network of 4G when compared to the private operators.
While BSNL is a few years late, it can still make an impact. The telco has a national brand and recognition, all it needs is a PAN-India 4G coverage, a clever marketing team with some humour, and it can turn things around very easily.