Opinion: BSNL Is Not Wrong About Investing on 4G

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For a long-time now, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been trying to proceed with its 4G roll out operations in India. But one after another, problems and hurdles keep arising for the state-run telecom operator. BSNL has been in a grave situation for the last few years and is still running because of the grace of the government’s revival package.

The Himachal Pradesh (HP) High Court (HC) recently called out BSNL for wasting the taxpayers’ money. The court said that while the whole world is looking to roll out 5G networks, BSNL is still stuck in using people’s money for rolling out 4G. While the court’s comments come in concern of keeping taxpayers’ money safe, BSNL can still do wonders with 4G.

BSNL’s 4G Will be Important for Indian Telecom

Just because companies and the world is moving towards 5G, it doesn’t mean that 4G will be rendered useless as soon as a single 5G network is introduced. Both the technologies have a multitude of differences in terms of performance; hence their use cases are completely different.

While there’s no doubt that the future of connectivity is 5G only, 4G still has a major role to play, at least in India. 5G is still at least 3 to 4 years away or even longer to reach PAN-India coverage. Further, the 5G plans are expected to be significantly more expensive than the 4G plans on offer today.

A lot of average consumers who are happy with 4G networks and their speeds won’t want to pay more for 5G plans regardless of how much extra speed they get. On top of this, India hasn’t even seen true 4G yet.

But BSNL can change all of this. True 4G speeds will be very much sufficient for users to carry out almost every internet need they have. Since 4G networks of Airtel and Jio are congested, BSNL coming out with cheap 4G plans and good network coverage will enhance the 4G services in the country.

The state-run telecom operator needs to ensure that it is building an excellent 4G network throughout India with great coverage in the rural as well as urban areas. The operator also needs to ensure that its networks can support higher capacity.

Rural India still doesn’t have true 4G networks. BSNL, with its support from the government, can utilise the taxpayers' money to invest in 4G in offering a great network experience to users in rural areas.

At the same time, yes, BSNL can also look at 5G and build 4G sites with equipment that can be upgraded to support 5G with a simple software rollout. But there’s one more thing, BSNL can’t wait anymore. The longer it takes for the telecom operator to rollout 4G in India, the more its chances of reaching an endpoint.

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Tanay is someone with whom you can chill and talk about technology and life. A fitness enthusiast and cricketer, he loves to read and write.

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