Every private telecom operator in the country is expected to launch 5G services later this year. The only thing all of the nation is waiting for is the spectrum auctions to take place. The government hasn’t announced a fixed date for the auctions, so there’s still no clarity on that.
While the private telcos will launch 5G this year, the state-run telecom operator, BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited), will launch 5G in 2023, a source told PTI. For this year, BSNL’s focus will be on launching 4G networks.
The state-run telco is aiming to launch indigenous 4G networks and has already developed a homegrown 4G core in partnership with TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and the C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics).
BSNL Will Also Go for Indigenous 5G
Whether the private telcos will go for indigenous 5G or not, one thing is clear, BSNL will! The state-run telecom operator was also working on 5G when it was testing 4G solutions with its local partners.
But the thing is, the government is yet to allocate the 5G spectrum to BSNL. While there’s no rush, it will be interesting to see the airwaves that BSNL gets from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for providing 5G services.
BSNL will be launching 5G over the 4G core; in other words, the telco will be leveraging 5G NSA (non-standalone) technology to launch 5G services for users in India.
To do that, BSNL needs 4G networks in the first place. Thus, by the end of this year, BSNL will launch 4G in multiple states/cities of the country. Some of these places include Pune, Maharashtra, and Kerala (state-wide).
By August, BSNL will start testing 4G networks in Kerala’s four districts. At the same time frame, the state-run telco might also test 4G networks in other states. Nothing has been said by BSNL for now, but things will be clear in a few months. Right now, the focus of the industry will be on the spectrum auctions.