One of the leading telecommunications service provider owned by the government, BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) today announced that it had expanded mobile network coverage in Goa. As of January 2018, BSNL is providing services via 216 towers in Goa, up from the previous number. This news was revealed in the Lok Sabha earlier today. Union minister of communications, Manoj Sinha, answered to a question tabled by BJP leader and south Goa member of Parliament, Narendra Sawaikar. A statement from Lok Sabha, later on, read that the telco has a total of 66,857 BSNL towers as of January 2018.
Out of the total number of towers, 585 towers are non-functional due to various issues. “Of the total 66,857 BSNL towers, as on date, 585 towers are non-functional due to non-availability of equipment, land issues and non-availability of power supply from the state electricity board,” the statement in the Lok Sabha read.
The statement also read that BSNL will make all these unfunctional towers functional during next financial year based on the “assessment of techno-commercial viability.”
However, the telco did not state how many towers are nonfunctional out of 216 towers in Goa. And BSNL is not yet offering 4G services in Goa, meaning customers will receive only 3G network at most, and in most areas, customers are plagued with 2G network.
However, BSNL has recently partnered with Nokia to roll out 4G services in 10 circles very soon, and Goa is one among them. Along with Nokia, BSNL has confirmed to relay 4G network in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana circles.
Also, the Lok Sabha statement read that BSNL has finalised phase 8.4 global system for mobile communication (GSM), which will see the replacement of old equipment with new ones, but the operational cost is said to be a lot higher. "Similarly, the 3G capacity will be increased, and 4G services will also be introduced," read the statement.
“BSNL is also hiring towers from other infrastructure providers to ensure better services to its customers. As of January 2018, BSNL uses 17,562 such hired towers across the country,” the statement read.
At the moment, there's no update from BSNL on when it's planning to roll out 4G services, but with private telecom services planning for the 5G rollout, it's high time for BSNL to introduce high-speed 4G services.