Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has started rolling out 4G in India. The state-run telecom company is very close to starting the 4G rollout at a large scale. Ashwini Vaishnaw, union telecom minister, confirmed that BSNL will start rolling out 4G at large scale from the coming Diwali. TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) also confirmed during its Q2 results that it has started deploying 4G for BSNL. The technology is completely homegrown and will make BSNL the only telecom operator to leverage the ‘Made in India’ end-to-end stack for offering 4G to customers.
But will it make a difference in the life of an everyday consumer? More specifically, will it help the low-earning folks in the country stay connected to mobile networks? Let us talk about it.
BSNL has Confirmed that it Will Stay Affordable Despite 4G Launch
BSNL’s 4G launch is underway, and the telco has confirmed that it will stay affordable even after it has spread its 4G networks throughout India. The private telecom companies have investors to answer to. Thus, they will eventually need to increase the tariffs on mobile services. They have already done it quite a few times since 2019.
The next round of tariff hikes for mobile services is expected after the general elections of 2024 are over. But there is no guarantee that it can’t happen before that. So while the private telcos have to increase their average revenue per user (ARPU), BSNL doesn’t seem to be too bothered by that.
India still has a large population that lives in rural areas along with people in urban cities with a very low income. This means that not everyone would be too comfortable or adjusting to the continuous tariff hikes that the private telecom operators are aiming for.
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BSNL will have a huge gap in the market to serve once the private telcos increase their prices one or two times in the coming years. This would allow BSNL to poach low-paying customers of private telecom companies. However, BSNL will have to ensure one thing for this to happen. It is great quality of services.
If BSNL can’t figure out a way to efficiently offer network services with seamless coverage and great performance, no better change would come for the company. Thus, the telco does need to ensure that it offers decent enough network services for the customers to stay with its network. Otherwise, despite offering higher-priced services, the private telcos would keep winning the wireless subscriber market share.