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

The government wants BSNL to offer network services in areas where private competitors aren’t investing much due to concerns about low returns. However, now private telcos are also investing heavily in the rural parts.

Highlights

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a state-run Indian telecom operator, has been trying to roll out 4G for ages.
  • The telco has faced many roadblocks along the way, such as the government demanding to only roll out 4G using homegrown tech.
  • The technology that BSNL is using for homegrown 4G is not working properly.

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lets talk bsnl delays in launching 4g

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a state-run Indian telecom operator, has been trying to roll out 4G for ages. The telco has faced many roadblocks along the way, such as the government demanding to only roll out 4G using homegrown tech, then finding an Indian company that can provide proof of concept (PoC) of 4G tech and more.




According to reports online, the technology that BSNL is using for homegrown 4G is not working properly. There are some issues, and it would take time to resolve them. It is not a hidden fact that Jio and Airtel have already launched 5G in most parts of the country. They also have a PAN-India 4G coverage, while their private competitor Vodafone Idea (Vi), is losing subscribers at an alarming rate.

Read More - BSNL is Offering Extra Validity with these Prepaid Plans

The government wants BSNL to offer network services in areas where private competitors aren’t investing much due to concerns about low returns. However, now private telcos are also investing heavily in the rural parts. Airtel has been making continuous announcements regarding its network expansion in rural areas of major licensed service areas (LSAs).

So by the time BSNL comes with its 4G, whom will it serve?

All the customers are already shifting to the networks of Airtel and Jio. The overall customer base of Jio has crossed 450 million while for Airtel it is close to 400 million. Vi’s overall user base has declined to reach less than 220 million while for BSNL it has fallen below 100 million.

BSNL was expected to be an affordable option or an alternative for the Indian consumer who was travelling to rural areas. But that’s not the reality. The state-run telecom operator has not been able to add subscribers in the mobile segment for years, and on top of that, has lost its number one rank in the wireline segment to Jio and Airtel.

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

Airtel and Jio are expected to add more subscribers to Vi and BSNL in the coming months and quarters. While India’s telecom market is not exactly a duopoly market, it is not far from one. Only two telecom operators are offering reliable services, and both of them have more than 80% of the market share (wireless and wireline combined).

India strongly needs the presence of a growing third telecom operator. Vi is trying to raise funds and this time things look good for the company. But if there’s no change, and Airtel and Jio are the only telcos to add subscribers and generate profits, India’s telecom sector will definitely turn into a duopoly.

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Tanay is someone with whom you can chill and talk about technology and life. A fitness enthusiast and cricketer, he loves to read and write.

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