The Indian government is looking to monetise assets under the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP). Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) mobile towers are also a part of the NMP. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has plans to launch a bid for BSNL towers within the financial year 2022-23. DoT is no longer looking at including the Bharatnet project under the NMP. The government will replace Bharatnet with alternate assets. According to a PTI report, the attempts of the government to monetise the assets under Bharatnet failed to get an appropriate response.
Under the Bharatnet project, 5,25,706 kilometres of optical fibre have been laid, which the government aimed to monetise. However, because the response wasn't good, DoT will replace it with another asset. Bharatnet aims to connect Indians living in villages with a high-speed broadband network.
It is worth noting that DoT has not raised any money under the NMP so far against the target of Rs 20,180 crore in the current financial year (FY). BSNL's 13,567 mobile towers and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited's (MTNL) 1,350 mobile towers have been valued at Rs 8,800 crore. Both companies currently own around 69,047 mobile towers. BSNL is currently in the process of rolling out 4G and then would look to upgrade to 5G as soon as possible.