Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) might soon be operating as a Virtual Network Operator (VNO) under Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). For the unaware, MTNL only provides its telecom services in Mumbai and New Delhi within India. The operator outside India also offers its services in Mauritius. As per a Business Standard report, MTNL might soon be operating under BSNL as a VNO. A virtual network operator is a party which doesn’t own the network but leases the bandwidth from another company to provide telecom services. More on the story ahead.
Even though a virtual network operator traditionally provides only mobile services, MTNL would provide complete telecom services. It was said that the telecom operator would oversee landline, mobile and broadband services for BSNL with the latter offering these services in New Delhi and Mumbai circles. However, nothing is confirmed as of yet.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has requested the apex institution of the telecom industry, Digital Communications Commission for the approval of this plan. The approval hasn’t come yet.
Since the telecom operator would operate as a VNO, it won’t longer be required to hire more people. It would be able to sustain off a substantially smaller team. MTNL would also be able to use the infrastructure of BSNL to operate. This would help the telecom operator to save a lot of its money and resources.
How much this would help both the telecom operators is something only time can tell. Both BSNL and MTNL are cash-strapped and to survive in a competitive telecom market such as India, the government needs to make good and quick decisions. BSNL also needs to launch its 4G services throughout India as fast as possible to compete with Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi). It has to be noted that BSNL in late September successfully raised Rs 8500 crores by issuing bonds on private placement basis using BSE BOND platform.