Opinion: BSNL Can Give Serious Competition to Private Telcos, Specially Vi

With BSNL’s 4G, before experiencing what it is like, making any comments right now would be immature. However, it is worth considering that if Vi customers want to shift to a more affordable alternative, they will soon have both BSNL and Jio as options for 4G services.

Highlights

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has millions of loyal fans and customers.
  • Things have not been very easy for BSNL all the time.
  • The state-run telco is not expected to take very long to launch 5G NSA as well.

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BSNL

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has millions of loyal fans and customers. Even though the telco doesn’t have 4G networks present across India, it has been able to add new active users for two consecutive months. During the same period, Vi (Vodafone Idea) has lost users. If BSNL is adding new active users when it doesn’t have 4G networks, things might go more favourably for the state-run telecom company when it finally launches 4G. BSNL is expected to launch 4G in 2022 itself.

Things have not been very easy for BSNL all the time. The Government of India (GoI) had made it mandatory for the telco to source its equipment for 4G from local companies only. But there were no Indian companies that had experience in this field with proven technologies. Thus, BSNL first had to partner with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to generate proof of concept (PoC).

The process took way longer than it was supposed to. There was approximately a delay of five months than the original date for finishing the 4G PoC with TCS. However, BSNL didn’t waste all this time. As per a C-DoT ( Centre for Development of Telematics) official, BSNL was also working on 5G NSA (non-standalone) with 4G.

The state-run telco is not expected to take very long to launch 5G NSA as well. In terms of revenues, BSNL will earn from 5G without rolling it out to customers.

BSNL is expected to lease out its mobile towers to the private telcos for adding capacity for 5G. The infrastructure requirement for 5G is multiple times denser than with 4G. While the telcos can build these tower sites themselves, it will be a time-consuming process and one that will also involve a lot of money.

Vi Customers Can Potentially Go to BSNL

No one knows just how good BSNL’s 4G networks will be. There are a lot of problems with the mobile network service of BSNL currently. Thus, with 4G, before experiencing what it is like, making any comments right now would be immature. However, it is worth considering that if Vi customers want to shift to a more affordable alternative, they will soon have both BSNL and Jio as options for 4G services.

Vi has been losing active wireless subscribers while BSNL is adding them. There’s a clear indication that people are leaving Vi network and shifting to other operators. Vi needs to arrest the subscriber churn rate to ensure that it can stay in the competition for long. Just a higher average revenue per user (ARPU) figure isn’t going to cut it for the telco and its investors.

BSNL to Start 4G Trials in Kerala in August 2022

BSNL is expected to start 4G trials in four districts of Kerala from August 2022. According to a report from TheHindu, BSNL is looking to go ahead with a state-wide launch of 4G in December 2022.

The company has already got the approval of using 800 towers for 4G trials in the four districts including Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Kannur.

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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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