BSNL to IMG: Provide 700 MHz Spectrum via Equity Route for 4G

State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has urged the government to allot it 700 MHz spectrum through the equity route, which will help it launch 4G service in the country, allowing to compete with the likes of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio.

Notably, the super premium 700 MHz band went unsold after in the spectrum auction last year. The band was put up for sale for the first time at a reserve or base price of Rs 11,485 crore per MHz.

BSNL, during its meeting with the inter-ministerial group (IMG), has also sought a two-year moratorium on payment of licence fee for revenue earned from government projects and SUC or Spectrum Usage Charges for projects implemented inNorth Eastern states and Naxal-hit areas, according to media reports. The PSU, which offers services in India except for Delhi and Mumbai, urged the government to exclude revenue from these projects from overall licence fee calculation.


Reports added that the telco also sought compensation of Rs 1,520 crore for CDMA spectrum it surrendered earlier.

The inter-ministerial group, comprising officials from ministries of communications and finance, is meeting telecom operators this week to discuss the financial difficulties being faced by the industry and measures that can be taken to ease the situation. Indian telecom operators are currently reeling under a Rs 4.6 lakh crore debt, and are facing pressure on profitability and revenue due to the intense competition introduced by the entry of Jio.

MTNL also met the IMG and sought Rs 8,000-10,000 crore capital infusion to become more competitive and agile to take on private telcos.

MTNL also raised issues like high employee cost, which results in Rs2800 crore cost. It said that high employee cost creates a “non-level playing field for the telco, and has also asked for the government support to bring voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).

“The war between the operators is being fought on the strength of capital so the government should not be found wanting in its support in capital provisioning (for MTNL),” MTNL CMD P K Purwar was quoted as saying.

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14 Comments on "BSNL to IMG: Provide 700 MHz Spectrum via Equity Route for 4G"


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June 16, 2017 10:19 am 10:19 AM

Shouldn’t be given to BSNL. Will be a total waste of spectrum.

June 16, 2017 9:52 am 9:52 AM

So another 2years for BSNL to launch 4g, very well.
What a worst network

Data Kumar
June 16, 2017 12:29 am 12:29 AM

BSNL rather than going for 4G launch in 700Mhz it can get 850Mhz for the 4G launch because of more than 10cr devices supports Band5 in India and use 700Mhz for 5G. Bsnl/Govt. did similar mistake by giving 2500Mhz 4G spectrum which is still in developing phase while others got Band40 widely used spectrum also they paid price similar to 2300Mhz and also loosing more than 8 years for ecosystem maturity. So better remembers it’s past and asks for 850Mhz for 4G.

June 16, 2017 3:55 am 3:55 AM
BSNL is only to make losses, pay 55-60 percent of money on salaries, officials get bribes from private telecos for under performing decisions., wastes money for patching up existing old infra..Never think of properly timed technical upgrades…will do anything that is good and non competiting Avoid…now barking 333,339,395,444. I don’t understand how they manage users within the limited 3g coverage and with only 5mhz band with. On 700mhz 4g is better then 5g…..5g need big chunks of bandwidth….only higher GHz milli meter waves work good for 5g. 5mhz block of 700mhz is useless for 5g. If government gave BSNL 700mhz… Read more »
Data kumar
June 16, 2017 10:15 am 10:15 AM
5G will use sub800Mhz as well as >2.5Ghz spectrums to improve coverage and indoor issues. Already Bsnl planning to shift from 3G to 4G and has sought the govt for temporary spectrum in 2100mhz for one year so by the end of 2018 Bsnl will have 4G nearly in 70% coverage area in all operating circles along with Band41 in 14circles while the Band1 and Band41 support in existing 4G phones is less than 40% while 700mhz band support is less than 10% and worldwide <800mhz will be used for upcoming technology. if Bsnl goes with 700mhz 4G then their… Read more »
Adithya Vardhan
June 16, 2017 1:59 am 1:59 AM

BSNL was already holding cdma spectrum but given back.

Data kumar
June 16, 2017 10:21 am 10:21 AM

CDMA spectrum was non liberalized spectrum and had only 1.25Mhz channel while in some circles 2.5mhz bandwidth was used. 4G needs atleast 5Mhz for capacity utilization and I suppose minimum channel for 4G is 5Mhz and maximum channel is 20mhz.