Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is all set to launch 4G in Punjab by the month's end. The state-run telecom operator already provides 4G in some parts of the country, but this launch would be done using indigenous or homegrown technology. This will be the first commercial launch by BSNL, where it will be using technology and equipment provided by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led consortium. According to a Livemint report, the launch will take place in Amritsar and Ferozpur. It is worth mentioning here that BSNL is already testing its 4G in a live environment in these cities.
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As per the report, a senior official aware of the developments said that the SIM sales for 4G will start soon after the official launch, within 7 to 10 days. The official further said that BSNL's 4G will be extended to other parts of Punjab, as it is a high revenue earning circle for the company. In the same manner, other high-revenue-earning circles will get the service soon.
BSNL would become the fourth operator in the country to roll out 4G services in Punjab. The state-run telco would finally be able to compete with the private telcos on an equal scale as it launches 4G in other parts of India as well. BSNL has already issued an advance purchase order to TCS worth Rs 15,000 crore and ITI Limited worth Rs 3889 crore. It is expected that BSNL will achieve its target of upgrading 1 lakh sites to 4G in the next 18 to 24 months.
The good thing about the indigenous technology stack that BSNL is using is that it can be upgraded to 5G with a software rollout. Whenever BSNL wants, it can start rolling out 5G NSA (non-standalone). But it is likely not going to be very soon as the use cases of 5G are too limited right now, and BSNL wouldn't want to jump on the same boat as Airtel and Jio, who have a lot of money in their pockets to sustain late returns.