Indian telecom sector currently has four players, out of which three are private companies and one is owned and run by the government. For the last few years, only Jio and Airtel have been the ones to generate profit and show a gain in business performance. Thus, it does bring up concerns of a duopoly for the Indian telecom sector in the long run. But the union telecom minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has said that India is not moving towards any sort of monopoly or a duopoly.
Speaking at the Express Adda, Vaishnaw said that BSNL is emerging as a stable player and have also started making operating profits now. He further said that the technology that they are going to use for 4G is a step above the other relevant technologies. Note that BSNL is going to use a 4G stack provided by TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) led-consortium, which will also be upgradable to 5G with a software rollout.
Read More - Indian Telecom Bill Should be Released by July: Vaishnaw
BSNL Places Advance Purchase Orders for 4G
BSNL has now placed an advance purchase order to both TCS and ITI for the deployment of over 100,000 4G sites. Most of the sites have already been identified, and very soon, the remaining ones that need to be upgraded will be identified as well. According to an exchange filing by TCS on May 22, 2023, it has received an advance purchase order from BSNL worth Rs 15000 crore for the deployment of 4G network across India.
Out of this, ITI would be getting the opportunity to deploy 20% of the planned sites. TCS-led consortium and BSNL have already been live testing the 4G networks in 200 sites across Punjab. Very soon, a large-scale rollout of BSNL's 4G using Indian technology would take place. TCS is expected to take up to two years to deploy the technology in the planned sites.