Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be very positive looking at the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. According to Ericsson, 4G is going to be a major network service in India till 2027. This makes sense as well since 5G would take its sweet time to expand as the telcos don’t have the means to be aggressive with their investments because of all the dues they have on the books.
BSNL, which is still working on introducing homegrown 4G in India, would be very positive after looking at the report from Ericsson. The state-run telco would still have the opportunity and ample time to steal some subscriber market share from the private telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio.
BSNL 4G Can Still Make a Difference
Many are of the view that BSNL should directly go for 5G and skip 4G. That is impractical since the telcos would be looking to launch 5G NSA in India, which requires a 4G core. 5G SA is an option, but it is way costlier, and there’s no real need for it right now.
A PAN-India 4G network from BSNL could ensure that people get good coverage and also take off some of the load from the private telcos’ networks. People might not get the best 4G speeds from BSNL, but at least it will help in decongesting the private telcos’ networks which is great for the end consumers.
The private telcos can also then focus on retaining higher average revenue per user (ARPU) customers with both 4G and 5G while the low ARPU customers can latch on to BSNL’s networks.
There’s something that the private telcos still haven’t done or don’t even want to do. BSNL can be helped with the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to deliver its 4G networks in the remotest parts of the country. This will help the telco in reaching areas where none of the private operators is providing services.
It would be a great thing for BSNL as well as the nation. The better BSNL performs, the more taxpayers’ money flowing into the company is justified. In fact, with better performance, BSNL would need more people to help with the mobile and broadband operations which will further create new jobs.
BSNL Said 4G Will Launch by September 2022
A few days back, BSNL said that its PAN-India 4G would launch by September 2022. While this seems like an unlikely time frame, it is still possible that BSNL’s 4G networks might become active in multiple parts of the country by the end of 2022.
The state-run telco still has a chance to make a difference and justify all of the relief packages that it has received.