Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will launch 5G services in 2024. Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, during the sidelines of the 5G launch event of Jio in Odisha, confirmed that BSNL shortlisted TCS and C-DoT to help with the 5G rollout in 2024. Earlier, Vaishnaw had said that BSNL would be able to launch 5G somewhere in 2023. However, from his recent statements, it can be confirmed that BSNL's 5G launch will come in 2024 only.
100 4G Towers Launched in Odisha
Over 100 4G towers were launched in the state of Odisha today. As per a PTI report, Vaishnaw said that 100 4G service towers had been launched in Odisha that would cover 100 villages in the state. Whether these towers are of BSNL is unconfirmed. BSNL has already awarded Skipper a big project to supply 4G mobile towers.
BSNL launching 5G in 2024 wouldn't be an issue for anyone. However, the state-run telco must speed up its 4G launch in India. BSNL has been losing wireless subscriber market share due to the absence of 4G. BSNL has a good chance here to gain subscribers in the short term who don't want to pay high tariffs for 4G services to the private telecom players.
It is worth noting that BSNL has also been increasing the tariffs in a silent manner. It is not a direct tariff hike but instead an indirect one by reducing the benefits of the plan while keeping the price the same.
BSNL is expected to launch 4G services in India using homegrown technology in early 2023. It would take BSNL around 18 to 24 months to cover the entire country with its 4G networks. The presence of 4G would mean that the telco can go towards the 5G NSA (non-standalone) route like Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi).