Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is looking for additional capital from the Indian government for rolling out 4G networks. The state-run telco will require indigenous equipment, which will be costly, and also there are debt service obligations that the telco has to meet. For BSNL 4G networks, the telco will require a capex of Rs 12,500 crores. On top of this, the telco will need Rs 5,000 crores for fiberisation, IT systems, transmission network, and relevant infrastructure to provide consumers quality services.
BSNL Needs Rs 19,605 Crores for Servicing Debt
As per a Financial Express report, in a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary, Anshu Prakash, BSNL CMD PK Purwar wrote that the telco needs a capex of Rs 17,500 crores between FY22 and FY24. In addition to this, Purwar said that there is a need for another Rs 19,605 crores for servicing debt obligations of the telco.
In total, the BSNL CMD has asked for Rs 37,105 crores from the DoT Secretary. Purwar said that because of the Making in India policy under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative of the government, BSNL would have to go ahead with procuring indigenous equipment to roll out its 4G networks. As per Purwar, the state-run telco is planning to install 1 lakh homegrown sites that will require a capex of Rs 12,500 crores in addition to Rs 5,000 crores for other network equipment and work.
The government has already helped the private operators by releasing the relief package. Now it is time for the centre to focus on BSNL. If BSNL can come out with live 4G networks soon, it can change the whole Indian Telecom market for good. It is worth noting that BSNL had last year raised Rs 8,500 crores through sovereign guarantee bonds. BSNL has turned EBITDA positive in FY21, but the telco is still severely behind other operators because of the lack of 4G networks.