The state-led telecom operator, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited’s (BSNL) Achilles heels has been its sparse 4G network availability. However, despite that, the telecom operator is slowly increasing the number of cities under the 4G network and Madurai in Tamil Nadu seems to be the latest addition starting today in this list. Now, Tamil Nadu will have four cities in total which will be under BSNLs 4G coverage with Madurai being the fourth one. The four cities that we are talking about include Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruchi. With the 4G network in place, BSNL is boasting of data speed of up to 12 Mbps in these cities. But, there is one issue in front of BSNL as it tries to expand its 4G coverage and that is the non-availability of 4G license. However, as per the Principal General Manager in Madurai for BSNL, there is a solution for BSNL.
BSNL to Use 139 Base Tower Stations for 4G Network in Madurai
As per the Madurai GM, SE Rajam, BSNL will give up its 3G mobile services and then provide 4G services because it does not have a license for 4G network services. She also added “As we roll out 4G services through 139 base tower stations in Madurai Corporation limits, we will switch off our 3G services from those BTS. This will mean that all BSNL mobile customers having 3G services will not get data services in the city unless they upgrade their SIM cards to 4G SIM.” In and around the areas of Madurai which include Theni, Dindigul, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram, and make up the business circle for the Madurai, there are a total of 823 BTS. Out of these 823, BSNL will use 139 BTS for the relaying of the 4G network. The rest of the BTS are currently being used for 2G network, and they would continue to be used like this. Therefore the 2G network will remain intact similar to how it is now.
Subscribers Urged to Upgrade to 4G SIM
There is also the issue of customers not upgrading to a 4G SIM, as once the 3G networks are taken down, which would be today, the customers who have no upgraded their SIM would not be able to use high-speed data services. As per the data available and reported by Hindu, out of 68,000 customers, only 38,000 have changed their SIM to a 4G one. Rajam also noted that BSNL has sent out SMS, IVRS calls and manual calls as well to spread awareness about the SIM change. She added that the customers could change their SIM to a 4G one without any cost. Right now 82,000 customers in the city are using 2G services, and even they can upgrade to a 4G SIM free of cost. There is, however, the catch that the subscribers wishing to use 4G services in Madurai but are from outside the city would have to pay Rs 100 for SIM upgradation.
BSNL’s 4G Network Boasted to Offer Up to 12 Mbps Download Speed
The subscribers who wish upgrade their SIM would have to go to the customer service centre and exchange their 3G or 2G SIM for a 4G one. Rajam had also added that since after the shut down of 3G services, the CSCs would be crowded, the subscribers should get their SIMs upgraded before October 3. Currently, BSNL’s 3G services offer download speeds of up to 3.5 Mbps, but the 4G network is expected to bump up this speed up to 10 Mbps or 12 Mbps. The Principal GM also added that in the other circles where we have launched the 4G services, the review of the network has been better than that of private telecom operators. BSNL 4G network services are present in other states also like Kerala, some parts of Maharashtra and nearby regions of Nagpur, some regions in Chhattisgarh and more.