Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is going to launch 4G networks in India with homegrown network equipment. This will be a proud moment for BSNL as well as India. Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi), the private telecom operators, couldn’t do this. But it will also prove to be slightly most costly for BSNL.
Regardless, BSNL is setting a precedent here. Not just for itself but also for the private telcos. The Indian government’s goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat is going to get a huge boost from this move.
BSNL and TCS have already completed the core-network trials. The companies are currently conducting trials for the radio networks. This should also complete within a few days now.
BSNL Can Make a Big Difference With Its 4G
Not only will BSNL’s 4G be secure and homegrown, but it will also give Indians one more option for 4G from the three private operators. Right now, almost all the telcos offer mobile services for the same amount of money. But with BSNL, users will get one more option and that too at a lower cost possibly.
The more the private telcos keep on raising tariffs, the better it will be for BSNL. According to the IT and telecom minister of India, the state-run telco is expected to make the order for 4G equipment in April.
BSNL already added new users in December 2021 when all the private telcos had raised tariffs of prepaid plans. The ultimate goal for BSNL right now would be to rollout 4G as fast as possible and start making some money so that it can grow its capex aggressively. BSNL’s 4G is expected to launch by August or September.
It is no problem that BSNL isn’t launching 5G services right now. There’s still a lot of money to be made with 4G. Millions of Indians are still using legacy network services, and thus getting them to upgrade to 4G will be a good challenge for the telcos. But BSNL, with its lower tariffs, can make a big difference in the lives of legacy network users when they switch to 4G.