Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is right now trying to roll out homegrown 4G networks in the country. The state-run telco isn’t going to be rolling out 5G networks anytime soon. However, once the telco has built a strong 4G presence around the country, it can utilise the 4G core and go with 5G non-standalone architecture (NSA) networks to deliver a homegrown 5G as well.
Many people are of the view that BSNL should have gone with 5G SA (standalone architecture) and skipped 4G completely. Here’s what these people don’t understand.
5G SA is Costlier and Doesn’t Offer Major Improvements Over 5G NSA Anyway
It is not that 5G SA isn’t better. It is better and it can help the communication service providers (CSPs) in coming out with better enterprise services and do more with their 5G networks. With 5G SA, the latency and power consumption of the radios also go down. However, it is way costlier to deploy for the CSPs as compared to the cost involved in 5G NSA.
Thus, BSNL would have had to spend more money (which it doesn’t have enough for 4G, to begin with) for deploying 5G SA as 5G NSA is out of the question if the telco were to skip 4G rollout.
Further, until all this happened, the telco would have to keep offering legacy network services to the users.
4G Isn’t Dead Yet, BSNL is Right in Its Strategy
BSNL isn’t at all wrong to go for 4G networks rollout in India. There’s still a big market of 4G users and it is only going to grow from here. Supposedly, if BSNL went for 5G SA by skipping 4G rollout, users would have soon started migrating to the 4G networks of Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi).
It is worth noting that 5G as a network technology is more likely to be demanded by the enterprises in the country. This is because average consumers don’t need super-high-speed internet access all the time.
4G networks are enough for normal consumers for average data services. Thus, it is right for BSNL to go with 4G as it will still have a pretty high demand in India for the coming years. If the state-run telco had gone for the 5G NSA, it would have taken a lot more time, more money (from taxpayers of course) and all of that would have gone to waste as the private telcos would have already captured a big market share with 5G NSA as they did with 4G.