Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is going to be operating the mobile network of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) from January 1, 2021. This can be confirmed via a report from Kerala Telecom. Last year on December 10, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) provided the state-run telco with a unified license for all the 22 telecom circles in India. This also included the Delhi and Mumbai telecom circles. So now, BSNL will be operating the mobile networks of MTNL in Delhi and Mumbai circles — more details on the story ahead.
BSNL Will Act as an Outsourced Agency for Operating MTNL Mobile Networks
The state-run telco is operating the mobile networks of MTNL by acting as an outsourced agency for the company. The operations for BSNL in Delhi and Mumbai have already started. However, there will be no tangible change in the services for the users. From the perspective of the users, everything will remain the way it was earlier.
This could all be dated back to October 27, 2020; when DoT received a proposal from the CMD (Chairman and Managing Director) of BSNL asking to operate the MTNL mobile networks. The telecom department took the proposal seriously and had lengthy discussions for the same with the directors of MTNL and BSNL in the presence of Additional Secretary of DoT on December 15, 2020.
As a result of the meeting, DoT instructed BSNL through a letter dated December 31, 2020, to start operating the mobile networks of MTNL from January 1, 2021, acting as an outsourced agency. The telecom department has further asked the CMD of BSNL to complete all the formalities regarding the matter as soon as possible. Further, it has been made clear by DoT that the liability of maintaining all the regulatory compliances in Mumbai and Delhi circles is MTNL’s and not of BSNL.
So now, MTNL users living in the concerned telecom circles can continue enjoying the mobile services they have subscribed to through the current network itself. As mentioned above, there will be no change in services from the perspective of the users. Only instead of MTNL, the mobile network will now be managed by BSNL.
BSNL will be overtaking the mobile networks of MTNL in New Mumbai and Kalyan (Mumbai area) and Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, and Ghaziabad (NCR region) including the whole of New Delhi. This is a good move by BSNL and DoT. Many would argue that BSNL and MTNL should be merged to compete with other three private telcos – Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi).