BSNL 5G: Govt to Reserve Rs 62000 Crore Worth of Spectrum

The government would have plenty of spectrum in the 700 MHz band to give to BSNL as Bharti Airtel has said that it won't be looking to get the 700 MHz spectrum even in future auctions. However, an IIFL Securities report said that while the low-frequency band isn't absolutely essential for 5G SA, it would provide a competitive edge.

Highlights

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will get Rs 62,000 crore worth of 5G spectrum from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • This would be in addition to the Rs 1.64 lakh crore relief package announced by the government earlier this year.
  • The government plans to allocate airwaves in the 700 MHz and 3.3 GHz to BSNL.

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Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will get Rs 62,000 crore worth of 5G spectrum from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). This would be in addition to the Rs 1.64 lakh crore relief package announced by the government earlier this year. The government plans to allocate airwaves in the 700 MHz and 3.3 GHz to BSNL. BSNL would become the second-telecom operator in India after Reliance Jio to offer 5G services via the 700 MHz band.

According to an ET report, BSNL will get 10 MHz in the 700 MHz band worth about Rs 40,000 crore and 70 MHz in the 3.60-3.67 GHz band worth about Rs 22,000 crore. BSNL would be able to deliver decent 5G services with this spectrum allocation. The sub-GHz band would especially help the telco in offering 5G services in rural areas.

Bharti Airtel believes that it won't require the sub-GHz band to deliver additional coverage as its mix of the spectrum portfolio is already good enough to do everything the other telcos would do with the 700 MHz band. BSNL is soon going to launch 4G services in India with the help of the TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) led consortium, which includes Tejas Networks and the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT).

As per the report, a government official aware of the development said that the DoT committee had approved the proposal for giving BSNL 10 MHz in the 700 MHz band and 70 MHz in the 3.60-3.67 GHz band, and now it would move up for discussion by DCC (digital communications commission), following which the cabinet would have to give the final go-ahead.

The government would have plenty of spectrum in the 700 MHz band to give to BSNL as Bharti Airtel has said that it won't be looking to get the 700 MHz spectrum even in future auctions. However, an IIFL Securities report said that while the low-frequency band isn't absolutely essential for 5G SA, it would provide a competitive edge. The analyst concluded that 10 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band is suitable for Airtel as it would be key to delivering 5G in rural areas.

Reliance Jio spent Rs 39,270 crore to get 10 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band throughout the country. BSNL's 5G is expected to be launched in August 2023.

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