- BSNL did not receive any 4G spectrum from the government so far
- The government-owned telco already phased out 3G in key markets
BSNL is the only telco in India right not to offer 4G services even after boasting a subscriber base of more than 100 million. Other telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea having more than 100 million subscribers are providing high-speed 4G services to the customers across all the circles. BSNL has been promising to launch 4G services in the country for more than five years now, but the telco never received the spectrum from the government. That said, BSNL is currently in a stage where the government is even thinking to shut it down or merge with another state-run telco MTNL. But it’s worth noting that BSNL is the only telco besides Reliance Jio for adding new subscribers over the last two years. The much-awaited 4G services launch could help the telco come out of the financially troubled waters and also increase the subscriber base.
Competition With Private Telcos
BSNL has been last on the rank list when it comes to ranking the telcos because of many reasons like financials conditions, subscriber base and other matters. However, the reason behind this remains the lack of a 4G network. With the introduction of high-speed internet and high-quality network for calling, BSNL will be able to attract a lot more customers hence trotting ahead with a rapid pace. It is also worth noting that BSNL, in many cases, enjoys the trust of its legacy customers who appreciate the telco’s services and are loyal to the brand. The introduction of a 4G network would give a boost to the number of such customers also.
Improvement in Financial Books
This is yet another major change which will happen as BSNL introduces 4G nationwide. The telecom operator will finally be able to provide high-speed data to the consumers which they have wanted since long. Now, since BSNL network will be a novelty and the telco can provide extra data and freebies with its plans, a lot of consumers from other telcos will flock to use BSNL 4G. The telco will also be able to provide congestion-free network, with high speeds in the regions, thus increasing the popularity of the service. This has been the case with many places in which BSNL 4G has been introduced.
Boost to Other Services
It is also worth noting that BSNL is slowly beginning to realise the power of freebies, additional benefits and content related services. The government led telco is offering free Eros Now content on many of its plans, but with abysmal 3G speeds, the content offering is of very less use. However, if you were to get a 4G network from BSNL, there would be a solid backend for the telecom operator to launch other offers in partnership with different companies to lure the users. The 4G network will also facilitate this gateway for BSNL. This way, the introduction of a 4G network would bring a three-way change for the state-led telco.
Subscriber Addition Will Rise
BSNL is the only telecom operator besides Reliance Jio to add subscribers in the last financial year and that too with 3G services. So with the 4G service launch, the telco’s subscriber addition will be even more and it might surpass leading telcos in the monthly additions list.
BSNL 4G Already Available in Various Circles
For the unaware, BSNL has been providing 4G services to its subscribers in various circles. In Kerala, BSNL has been providing 4G services for more than a year now and the telco also closed down 3G operations in the city. In most parts of Kerala, BSNL is providing just 2G and 4G services to the users. Also, BSNL is selling 4G SIM cards at a price of Rs 20 and even providing 4G SIM Upgrade to the customers in several major cities. Right now, the issue being faced by BSNL is the allocation of 4G spectrum.
BSNL 4G Spectrum Allocation Still Off the Radar
In other news, BSNL has been suffering a lot when it comes to financial terms and the government is not responding properly to the company’s current woes. Earlier, it was said that BSNL would be allocated with 4G spectrum by March 2019, but that wasn’t the case. Now, we’re at the end of August 2019 and the telco is yet to receive 4G spectrum. DoT is said to be preparing a relief package to BSNL which may include the 4G spectrum allocation details as well.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.