BSNL’s 4G is Likely a Little Too Late Now

BSNL is already a few years too late to deploy 4G. It will take at least more than a year for the telco to deploy 4G in 1 lakh sites, and then expand it further to provide proper coverage.

Highlights

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a state-run telecom operator in the country, has been for years, attempting to roll out 4G.
  • BSNL has not been able to deploy and commercially roll out 4G.
  • To regain market share at a time like this would be too hard for BSNL.

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bsnl 4g is likely a little late

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a state-run telecom operator in the country, has been for years, attempting to roll out 4G. However due to issues, such as government intervention and demands to launch 4G only through homegrown gear, BSNL has not been able to deploy and commercially roll out 4G. Yes, in some areas, its 4G is operational, but in these sites, equipment and core from foreign vendors are running. Every year, there have been reports claiming that BSNL's 4G launch is near, or dates have made rounds online based on comments from esteemed government officials, announcing that BSNL will start rolling out 4G on a certain date.




Read More - Let’s Talk: BSNL’s Delays in Launching 4G is Leading to a Duopolistic Market

Looking at the market today, a majority of the share is with the private telcos. BSNL has lost its customers to the private telcos on account of not having proper coverage and high-speed networks. 4G, which is already too late to deploy, is still a challenge for BSNL, as C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics) has not yet solved the network core problem.

BSNL is already a few years too late to deploy 4G. It will take at least more than a year for the telco to deploy 4G in 1 lakh sites, and then expand it further to provide proper coverage. Yes, while 5G still hasn't proved to be a major need, 4G customers have already built their loyalties with the private telcos, which are also offering 5G.

Read More - BSNL Looks to be in Trouble Again with 4G Rollout: Report

To regain market share at a time like this would be too hard for BSNL. The state-run telco has fiber assets throughout the country and has great potential to grow in the FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) segment. If the resources are limited, then FTTH must be a priority for BSNL, where new smaller players are emerging to eat up market share.

In the mobile services business, BSNL has much to do, and remotely not enough money or resources in hand to compete with the private telcos. If BSNL is able to provide 4G to every Indian by 2026-2027, it won't make much difference. This is not to say that the state-run telco can't make a comeback. But from a ground reality perspective, BSNL is so far behind that it looks like it will never be able to catch up if things remain the same.

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