Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is gearing up to launch its 4G network pan-India in the coming year. However, the state-run telco already provides users with 4G VoLTE services in select circles/cities of India. For the unaware, BSNL launched its VoLTE services last year for its 4G network in the South Zone in Coimbatore. The service was demonstrated live by the officials of the company. The VoLTE service was later expanded to more cities/circles from Coimbatore. To know the select circles/cities where BSNL 4G’s VoLTE service is available, keep reading.
BSNL 4G VoLTE Services Are Available in These Cities/Circles
As mentioned above, BSNL 4G VoLTE services are available for the South Zone in Coimbatore. However, the upgraded protocol was later expanded to more cities/circles, including Chennai, Tamil Nadi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
VoLTE service will allow users in the region to experience higher-quality voice calling. Further, users will also be able to make both video and voice calls over data. BSNL is further adding new cities/circles to the VoLTE list.
BSNL users holding 4G SIM cards of the company will have to send a request for activating the VoLTE service on their device. First of all, the user must ensure that he/she is using a 4G VoLTE supportive handset. Then, through the SMS app, he/she needs to send a text “ACT VOLTE” to 53733. Upon sending the request, the company will activate the VoLTE service for the user in a little time.
Existing BSNL users won’t be able to leverage the VoLTE service on their smartphones if they are using a 2G or 3G SIM card of the company. For getting a new 4G SIM card, users can visit their nearest BSNL retail shop and purchase a new SIM card that only costs Rs 20.
BSNL Hybrid 4G Plans For India
The state-run telco won’t be taking the traditional route for rolling out 4G in India. BSNL has proposed a hybrid 4G plan for India wherein it will reserve 50,000 sites for the Indian vendors and the remaining 57,000 sites for the global vendors. According to the telco, even the Indian vendors can participate in the tender process for 57,000 sites reserved for foreign companies if they can generate Proof of Concept (PoC) on time.
The telco expects to roll out 4G at the earliest in 14 months. If there are any delays from the companies or the government, it will take even more time for the telco to roll out 4G. BSNL had sought permission from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for rolling out hybrid 4G in India. The telco had told the telecom department that its ‘survival’ depends on the timely rollout of 4G in the country.
If BSNL had to wait for the Indian vendors to first come up with PoC, it would take a lot of time for the telco to rollout out 4G. That would be catastrophic for the loss-making telco, which already depends on the government’s relief package. Thus DoT had given the nod to BSNL for going ahead with its hybrid 4G plan. It remains to be seen what will happen next.