Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) executives on Saturday met defence minister Rajnath Singh and sought help with a faster rollout of the 4G network across India along with the return of Rs 38,000 crore from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). According to an ET Telecom report, in addition to this, the executives requested an extension of the 2G license.
The Sanchar Nigam Executive Association (SNEA), which represents over 11000 BSNL executives, asked Singh for continued support from the government and highlighted issues that are plaguing BSNL’s turnaround.
The Rs 38,000 crore that SNEA has requested from the telecom department is on account of the surrendering of broadband wireless spectrum (BWA) and pension contribution.
SNEA Looks for Capex Support to Rollout 5G
The SNEA requested Singh to get capex support for the 5G network at par with the private network service providers. In addition, the executives said that they need government support for expediting the land monetisation process to clear debts, waive adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and license fees and opposed any move for selling BSNL owned mobile towers and optic fiber network.
Earlier this week, BSNL gave Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) order worth Rs 550 crores to procure 40-watt radio equipment for 6000 sites across the country. The state-run telco is planning to launch 4G networks in multiple parts of India by August 15, 2022. BSNL will initially focus on high-potential areas from where it can get the best return on its investment.
Followed by this, BSNL is going to give another order to TCS for 6000 4G sites. BSNL plans to install over 1.12 lakh sites PAN-India for the 4G network rollout. Ashwini Vaishnaw, telecom minster, said the 4G network deployed by BSNL would be completely homegrown right from the core to other equipment. It is worth noting that none of the private telcos which already have a huge 4G subscriber base in India has a homegrown network.