Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been battling for a long time in India's telecom market. The state-run telco has seen its share of highs and lows. But lately, and for quite some time now, BSNL hasn’t been stable because of dipping revenues and, simply put, bad planning from the government. However, the telco is not dead yet. It still has a chance to gain some market share by introducing 4G as fast as possible. But that’s going to be difficult with the recent objection from the Ministry of Communications (MoC).
BSNL Can’t Source Equipment from Foreign Vendors for its Core 4G Network
BSNL has been denied the request of purchasing core network equipment for its 4G network even from the non-Chinese foreign vendors. The government has asked the telco to purchase all of its equipment from Indian companies.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time BSNL has been blocked by the centre to roll out the 4G network because it was purchasing equipment from foreign vendors. The same happened last year as well, and the telco had to scrap its 4G tender because of that.
All these roadblocks must be frustrating for the state-run operator. While it can source equipment from Indian companies, it would take a lot of time for them to provide the proof of concept (PoC) and then just get ready to supply the equipment. None of the Indian companies has proven technology in the domain which makes it hard for BSNL to make an immediate decision.
But shall the government understand this and stops becoming a hindrance for BSNL to roll out its 4G network, the telco might be able to change its fortunes. The telco is expected to turn profitable by 2023-24 with major help from the revival package.
However, if BSNL can roll out its 4G network by the end of this year, it will soon be able to upgrade its network for 5G as well. This would further increase the competition in the market and allow faster innovation to take place.