Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to optimise operations. While both the government-run entities, they operate differently and in different cities. It is worth noting that BSNL already took over the responsibility of handling the mobile network services of MTNL in Mumbai and Delhi. According to an exchange filing from MTNL, the signed MoU is to bring synergy to the operations of both companies.
The government has announced back-to-back relief packages for the state-run telecom companies. The signed MoU will help the companies in boosting the progress with the help of the relief packages. The government has also reserved 4G and 5G spectrum for BSNL. The company will be able to use it when it starts rolling out 4G and 5G.
BSNL has been beta-testing its 4G in Punjab for a while now. The state-run telecom company should almost be ready for a commercial rollout of 4G using homegrown technology. BSNL aims to roll out up to 300 4G sites every day, as per the words of telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. This will enable BSNL to roll out 4G to all of the planned 1 lakh sites within 18 months.
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"The MoU with BSNL will pave the way for synergy of operations between MTNL and BSNL in order to provide pan India telecom services as a public sector enterprise under the government of India," MTNL said.
Earlier, there were talks about merging BSNL and MTNL. But that is an unlikely scenario as MTNL would only add to the burden of BSNL which is already struggling with its finances and customer addition. Thus, it is better for both companies to work hand-in-hand and improve the synergy of their operations instead of merging as a single entity.