Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited or BSNL has once again informed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that the procurement of local gear for deploying 4G services would create a lot of issues. As per the latest report by ET Telecom, BSNL has told the DoT that forcing it to purchase 4G telecom gear from local vendors will cause delays in rolling out the next-generation services to customers. BSNL also added that the gear from local vendors would be ‘globally unproven’ and that could cause a delay of at least 18 months for rolling out the services. Besides, BSNL also highlighted to DoT that the regionally procured infrastructure would result in increased costs and could result in frequent network quality issues.
BSNL Now Says the Local 4G Gear Will Reduce its Survival Chances
The state-run telco reached out to DoT several times in recent months regarding the purchase of locally made gear. As part of the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat programme, a technology group earlier suggested BSNL to fully make use of the gear made by local vendors. However, BSNL complained to DoT saying the local OEMs are charging close to 90% more for a single 4G tender compared to the tenders from global vendors.
In a recent meeting held between the DoT and BSNL’s leadership members, they urged the telecom department to have a level-playing field in the industry. The leadership team of BSNL told DoT that the usage of local gear policy must also apply to the top three telcos- Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
As noted, BSNL is urging the DoT to reverse the local gear usage policy so that it can sustain the competitive Indian telecom market led by the likes of Jio and Airtel. “BSNL has voiced its concerns to its owner, DoT, that it must not be forced alone to buy unproven core 4G network gear from local suppliers, and that such indigenous procurement rules should also be applicable to all private telcos,” a top company executive told ET.
The report also says the telco’s concerns will be discussed shortly by the Empowered Technology Group (ETG) that was appointed less than a month ago.