Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has awarded Tejas Networks an additional purchase order worth Rs 107 crore. The order is for shipping 4G Radio Access Networks (RAN) for additional sites. Tejas Networks, a Tata Group company is supplying the RAN equipment that BSNL is using to deploy homegrown 4G in India.
During the Q3 FY24 earnings call, Arnob Roy, Chief Operating Officer at Tejas Networks, said, "On the wireless segment, we continued to ramp up our BSNL 4G RAN shipments, and several thousand systems have been shipped which are a combination of single and dual-band radios in Band 1 and Band 28."
According to an ET report, Tejas Networks has also started supplying the backhaul equipment of IP/MPLS routers. During the earnings call, the COO said that this is a project of several hundred crores for deploying more than 15,000 routers. This project will enable the backhaul network of BSNL 4G nationwide.
Last year, Tejas Networks won a Rs 696 crore PAN-India deal from BSNL for supplying the TJ1400 series routers. The Indian government pushed BSNL to launch 4G using homegrown tech only. For this, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and ITI Limited got an advance purchase order (APO) of about Rs 19,000 crore to deploy 4G in 1 lakh sites.
Once BSNL launches 4G throughout the country, the state-run telecom operator will upgrade the existing network to 5G as well. The report said that Roy confirmed there is a BSNL tender which includes the 5G upgrade of 40,000 sites. But that is far away from here. To go towards 5G, BSNL first needs to reach its 4G deployment goal of 1 lakh sites throughout India.
Tejas confirmed that the equipment it is providing to BSNL for 4G has undergone extensive trials for around a year in Punjab.