Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and its technology partner for the 4G, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) are reportedly not on the same page with regard to the cost of network rollout. TCS is not happy with the cost that BSNL wants to get things done in. As per an ET Telecom report, BSNL had released a purchase order for procuring 4G equipment for over 6,000 sites on March 31 for Rs 360 crore. This cost is 56% lesser than what the state-run telco had offered to Nokia in 2018 for phase VIII expansion.
BSNL hasn’t accepted the price that is offered by TCS yet and a high-level meeting for the matter is in the books pretty soon. Regardless of the price issue, BSNL is on track to go with a limited 4G launch on August 15, 2022.
Cost for TCS Has Gone Up, BSNL Needs to Take a Call
BSNL should not be stuck up with the cost issues right now. There have been enough delays already. The cost for TCS in manufacturing and setting up the equipment has gone up in line with the rise in component pricing, escalated labour wages, and more. Thus, it wouldn’t make sense for TCS to work with BSNL for such low pricing.
Moreover, the ripple effect of what BSNL is doing right now would show in the motivation of the other local companies working on homegrown products. This would seriously demotivate even TCS to work with BSNL long-term.
The conservative approach of BSNL needs to change here and the telco needs to understand that it can’t afford more delays. Saankhya Labs and Lekha Wireless would also provide BSNL with low-powered radios for rolling out 4G networks in rural areas of the country.
BSNL can definitely turn things around for itself and the telecom industry. But for that to happen, things need to roll fast and the state-run telco must take a decision quickly on the matter.