Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is getting plenty of support and help from the Indian government for developing indigenous 4G and 5G networks. An announcement from the Ministry of Communications says that the government will use money from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to fund the pilot projects of BSNL as well as the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) Limited focused on developing E-band and LTE indigenous technologies, including integration of 4G/5G prototypes with C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics) core.
USOF Funding Four Pilot Projects
USOF was set up by the government to enable funding for connectivity projects that help India without looking at profits. Now, USOF will be funding four pilot projects with Rs 10 crore each to enable the development of new indigenous technologies.
Companies that are going to work with C-DoT, BSNL and ITI are Lekha Wireless Solutions, Astrome Technologies, Resonous Technologies, and Signaltron. All of these companies are local in nature and focused on developing indigenous solutions.
This will be a major boost to India’s telecom sector as well as give India a better chance to be self-reliable, which is the motto of the current Indian government.
BSNL is currently already working on rolling out indigenous 4G networks PAN-India. The state-run telco is in a fix with TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) over the cost of equipment which is resulting in delays.
BSNL has also worked with C-DoT on developing indigenous 5G network solutions, which it will likely leverage for rolling out 5G in India. BSNL is expected to do a soft launch of homegrown 4G networks on August 15, 2022.
It is a great initiative from the Indian government to fund these pilot projects as it will promote the energy of building homegrown solutions. Right now, there’s no local ecosystem of manufacturing telecom gear within India by local companies. But with initiatives such as this, it would change pretty fast and help the Indian economy to grow.