Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) might be able to roll out 4G in the next six months. The telco is looking for the up-gradation of more than 49,300 sites across India, including the ones covered by ZTE, so that it can roll out 4G faster. The state-run-telco has expressed its inabilities of meeting the requirements for the rollout of a new 4G tender and has said that if it were to go after fulfilling the requirements, it would take another two years for it to roll out 4G. According to a Financial Express report, looking at the current conditions, BSNL has proposed new bidding options, including the floating of new tender with commercial options, which will allow for open bidding to take place.
Conditions That Are Hard for BSNL to Fulfil For Rolling Out 4G in India
Last year, BSNL had to drop its 4G tender due to the concerns raised by the Telecom Equipment & Services Export Promotion Council (Tepc). The second tender, which seeks to fulfil all the requirements, is very hard for the telco to achieve in a short-frame of time, and BSNL has communicated the same to both the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
BSNL needs to rollout 4G in India as quickly as possible. The telco has suggested that new tender should come with commercial options so that open bidding can be possible. Big tech companies such as Tech Mahindra, Mavenir, HFCL, and more have suggested that it will take at least 6 to 8 months for the proof of concept (PoC) process to complete.
In case it is successfully completed within the expected time frame, BSNL can rollout 4G within 10 months; otherwise, it will get substantially delayed. BSNL has said that PoC should be limited to only a few circles or one zone, and the up-gradation of 49,300+ sites should be allowed, including the ones by ZTE, so that 4G can be rolled out in six months.