Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) can’t really depend on the Indian vendors to roll out commercial 4G networks throughout India. There are a few reasons why. Firstly, the Indian companies aren’t experienced in the field. Second, they don’t have products backed with proof of concept of providing efficient services. Third, it will take way more time and cost than what moving ahead with the foreign vendors would have taken. Let’s go over these reasons in detail.
BSNL Can’t Blindly Trust Indian Vendors for 4G
Starting with point one, there are hardly any Indian companies that have a proven track record in offering network equipment to the telcos for providing 4G services. Not only that but there are no Indian companies who have helped the telcos come out with legacy networks.
Because of this, BSNL will have to wait for the Indian vendors to firstly come out with the proof of concept (POC) that they can offer technology that’s viable. Point two is an extension of point one. BSNL will have to ask these vendors to come out with viable technology, test it, and then show the proof of concept that they and their technology can do it.
Thirdly, to get the POC from the Indian vendors, BSNL will have to wait. The last thing that a surviving telco should do is wait for its next move. It anyway doesn’t have enough funds, the revenues are falling, and the subscribers are leaving the network to join 4G networks of the private operators.
Further, BSNL would want to go ahead with network equipment that isn’t just compatible with 4G but also 5G. International vendors such as Nokia and Ericsson can provide the telco with such equipment and technology, but there’s hardly any Indian vendor that can do the same.
BSNL needs to move aggressively when it comes to 4G. But there’s a lack of support from the Indian government. Now, the government is further planning to sell the tower assets of the company to the private sector. The employee union of the company is already not happy, and they are reasonable.
BSNL’s hybrid 4G plan was ingenious thinking from the company. The telco could move fast with 4G with the help of foreign vendors, and meanwhile, the Indian vendors could have come up with the POC for their technology. That would’ve solved a lot of things for the telco. However, things have again majorly slowed down when it comes to BSNL 4G, and it seems like there’s no way out for the telco if the government doesn’t lend a helping hand.