PK Purwar, CMD (Chairman and Managing Director), BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) said that large scale 4G deployment in India will happen by the end of 2022. In the short term, Purwar told ET Telecom that the 4G launch will take place in August 2022. Further, Purwar confirmed that the 4G networks will be upgraded to 5G as soon as possible. The August launch of 4G networks will be selective in nature for only a few cities.
BSNL Tariffs Are Designed by Keeping in Mind Consumers
Purwar said that BSNL designs tariffs by considering the consumers supreme and believes in the concept of value for money. It is true that BSNL’s tariffs are the lowest in the industry, but then the telco can’t really justify higher tariffs without 4G networks.
The words of Purwar on tariffs would come into real focus once the company launches 4G networks across the nations. That would push the data consumption and network load for BSNL and then it might be natural for BSNL to implement a tariff hike too.
Purwar also talked about the growing fiber broadband business of BSNL. The CMD said that BSNL added over 1,00,000 new fiber connections every month and has a robust wireline network.
The 5G network launch for BSNL would definitely be along the lines of 5G NSA because that would be more economical for the telco in the short run. However, BSNL will have to sort out its capex requirements before jumping into a 5G ship. The state-run telco barely has enough money to support 4G deployment plans. Thus, in a real sense, 5G is out of the question.
C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics) had confirmed that while working on 4G PoC with BSNL, work on 5G NSA was also silently going on. With BSNL one thing has been a common theme throughout the years - there’s always a delay and things never really happen on the timeline the officials say, so there’s that.