BSNL the largest PSU telecom operator has been in the news a lot lately for being in a financially unfavourable position but the government has been taking every measure to revive its operations and bring it at Par with the private operators. BSNL had recently disclosed that they will be partnering with Bharti Airtel for 2G roaming Pan India to improve network coverage footprint and also the installation of Google Global Cache servers in its network for smoother internet experience.
Telecom minister Ravishankar Prasad in Delhi inaugurated the switching of BSNL to Next Generation Network (NGN) by upgrading the Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) technology it uses to deliver voice for landline subscribers currently. The technology was launched by making a Video call from Delhi to Bangalore. NGN technology will provide both fixed line and broadband from same telephone exchange.
BSNL has more than 36000 telephone exchanges out of which more than 28000 are in rural areas. These exchanges are working on TDM switching technology which provides voice only. Separate gateways are required to inter-connect existing TDM switches with IP Network and mobile switching technology. NGN technology will provide both fixed line and broadband from same telephone exchange.
In addition to video calls, BSNL is also planning to introduce Close User Group of mobile & fixed line customers at All India Basis, multi-media video conferencing involving large number of users at a time, transfer of calls from fixed to mobile and mobile to fixed as per the convenience of the user. This technology also promises introduction of prepaid telephony in fixed line on the same basis as is available in the mobile services.
At present, BSNL plans to convert 14 million telephone lines with NGN technology. This is expected to cover more than 80% urban customers and approx. 90% rural customers. However, it is expected that entirely fixed line customers will have NGN facility by December, 2017. Initially, BSNL plans to invest approx. Rs. 1000 crores in upgrading the TDM technology with NGN technology.
The NGN represents an opportunity to reduce capital expenditures by being able to offer all services over a single integrated IP-based infrastructure. The NGN aims to build up an integrated network through which any customer can access any service at any place through any device and at any time. Local manufacturing of NGN technology will take forward “Make In India” project of Prime Minister Modi.