BSNL 4G Is the Answer, Last Quarter Results Suggest: Opinion

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Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) hasn’t been the best performing telecom operator in India since the advent of 4G networks of Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea. Looking at the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report for the individual months of the last quarter of FY21, it is evident the telco hasn’t been growing at all whatsoever.

As per the data shared by TRAI, in the month of January 2021, BSNL added 83,738 (0.083 million) subscribers; in February 2021, the telco lost 3,59,157 (0.35 million) subscribers, and in March 2021 added 1,94,310 (0.19 million) subscribers.

BSNL’s Last Month is a Positive, But Overall Quarter Disappointing

In the last month of the last quarter of FY21, BSNL added 0.19 million subscribers, which is a positive for the telco. However, the overall quarter was disappointing for BSNL as it lost net 81,109 (0.081 million) subscribers.

One thing that I am happy about is the fact that the telco could add subscribers in two months of the last quarter despite being a 3G network company. Regardless, the telco’s disappointing performance can’t be ignored.

BSNL 4G Is the Only Solution

The only solution for BSNL right now is rolling out its 4G networks. Despite what people say, if the telco can roll out 4G networks even in few regions such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu initially and offer strong network services, it will add more subscribers.

This is because if the telco can add subscribers with its 3G network, it can surely add more with 4G services. But BSNL’s 4G plans are always stuck because of one or another reason. The telco needs the help of the government and in a big way.

The government needs to ensure that no one interferes with the telco’s 4G rollout plans. Further, the government should force BSNL to roll out its 4G networks because it can bring in serious revenues in the medium to long-term if things are planned accordingly.

Moreover, BSNL should also keep planning for 5G. All the other operators have already moved in the 5G direction, and the trials regarding the same have also started. BSNL should not forget how it missed the 4G train and repeat the same mistake with 5G.

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