Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is working on rolling out 4G networks as soon as possible for its customers across the country. The state-run telco might upgrade over 50,000 sites across India to 4G after the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) is done. In a conversation with ET Telecom, PK Purwar, CMD of BSNL said, the spectrum is not a challenge for the company. Only the availability of the equipment should be there after PoC, and the state-run telco will be able to come out with 4G within six months. Purwar said that the telco had divided its 4G project into two phases. The first phase will focus on 50,000 sites, and the second will focus on 40,000 sites. So in total, the telco will be looking to upgrade over 90,000 sites to 4G in India.
BSNL Trying to Overcome the 4G Challenge
Purwar told ET Telecom that the company would be getting the carrier equipment of 40W power by November 15, 2021. Initially, the deadline for the same was October 30. But it has been pushed ahead by a month now. Purwar believes once 4G arrives for BSNL, the company will come into a much better position.
According to the interview, the capex of the company should be about Rs 14,000 to Rs 15,000 crore, while the opex might come anywhere around 4% to 5% of the capex. Purwar cleared that BSNL has asked for Rs 38,000 crore in the form of equity so that it can use that money to promote homegrown technology. It will also help the telco in overcoming the financial constraints that it has.
Purwar said that BSNL had tried to monetise its land assets, but that didn’t happen because of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will now be restarting the process of monetisation as the economy is opening up and the diminished market appetite is returning now.