- Almost all the states in Kerala circle now has BSNL 4G coverage
- BSNL is yet to receive proper 4G spectrum from the government for pan-India 4G launch
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been slowly expanding its 4G coverage despite the lack of spectrum. In several South Indian states, BSNL is providing 4G services along with VoLTE (Voice over LTE) for HD calls. In almost all the districts of Kerala, BSNL is now offering 4G and 2G services and the telco has altogether scrapped 3G network. Very recently, BSNL confirmed that it has launched 4G services in 25 towns of Telangana and already it’s offering 4G in 11 districts of Andhra Pradesh state. Overall, in Telangana, BSNL has 409 sites in total, out of which 219 sites are used for delivering 4G services to the customers. Even in Gujarat, several towns now have BSNL 4G and the best part is customers are experiencing download speeds of over 15 Mbps at a constant rate.
Allocation of Spectrum to BSNL in 2,100MHz Band
To recall, way back in December 2017 reports had surfaced which highlighted that BSNL’s 4G services would first be launched in Chennai circle and that the telco had allotted 288 4G towers, 468 3G towers and 365 2G towers in the city for the rollout of the service. However, the launch of the 4G network was further delayed. Another report surfaced in June 2018, when BSNL announced an expansion in Karnataka with massive deployment in the state. During that time, BSNL had announced setting up of 30,000 4G towers in the country, with 10,000 being set up in Karnataka alone.
Later came the news of news of allocation of the 2,100 MHz spectrum to the government led telecom operator as it received the nod from the cabinet. The use of five additional units on the 2,100MHz spectrum gave a boost to BSNL’s 4G connectivity which was being relayed using 3G airwaves previously. With the use of this spectrum, BSNL could also now practise better airwaves utilisation by offering spectrum contiguity.
Regions of 4G Connectivity for BSNL
While taking a look at the State of Mobile Networks report February 2019, we got to know the scale at which BSNL is using the 3G network for its connectivity. The telco heavily relies on 3G connectivity rather than 4G connectivity. However, with that being said, the map of connectivity for BSNL does not lack 4G sites. There are some spots across India where we were able to spot 4G zones where BSNL has started its services. The report showed that BSNL had a 4G presence in very tiny circles in a few cities of Chhattisgarh, regions near Nagpur, Gujarat, regions near Pune and central Maharashtra, some areas in Kerala with good 4G connectivity and a few sites in Odisha, Bihar, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. As mentioned above, BSNL recently launched 4G services in Telangana circle and also providing services in Andhra Pradesh for a while now.
These locations also seem consistent with the previous announcements of BSNL where the telco had highlighted that it would start its services in Gujarat and Idukki district of Kerala after a round of pilot testing. In the report by Tutela, BSNL’s 4G download speed stood at 6.8 Mbps, which is the second best on the list after Airtel and its 3G speed was the best among the lot, pegged at 3.3 Mbps.
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.