Our Analysis: Steps to revive BSNL from current rut

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BSNL, the Government owned Telecom Company has been incurring losses for several years now. The current Government has announced several initiatives to bring the Telco back on track. Being a Government operator and having foot prints along hills, valleys and presence in diverse areas, it is important that the company remains functional. We bring to you a list of measures that can be taken to improve BSNL’s current state:

1) BSNL is experiencing decline in market share due to stiff competition offered by private networks; if BSNL analyses what makes people prefer private operators over BSNL causing large port outs, it will be very helpful in retaining the customers.

2) The distribution strategy of BSNL needs to be made robust; the method to roll out their products should be given an elaborate structure. In simple words, it means BSNL should roll out their services or products through multiple channels and access points. Rather than giving products only through type 1, type 2 customer care centers, BSNL should identify other ways/sources for distributing their products. BSNL can start service hubs in every possible location. They should be available easily starting from villages to cities rather than concentrating only at a particular shop situated at a particular corner of town. Local exchanges situated in rural village areas need to be developed for delivering quality services and products.

3) Golden rule of marketing 'GIVE MORE PRIORITY TO CIRCLES IN WHICH COMPANY IS IN PROFIT”, the private operators sometimes bath in blood because of their fight to retain their profitable circles. Just like other operators, BSNL should follow the policy in profitable circles like Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Odisha, plus circles that can bring them revenue. Recent analysis shows that complaints prevailing in these circles are high when compared with other non profitable loss making circles. This policy will bring financial stability to company which helps in roll out/expansion of network or helping continuation of services in loss making areas.

4) Compromising with latest technology- Without upgradation to latest technology nothing can sustain in the market. Similarly BSNL need to be aware of latest technologies, if they lack technical solutions, outsourcing strategy can be adopted. Deployment of 4g in GSM area and conducting tests will help upgrading to latest GSM technology. Improvement or expansion of data network is the need of the hour and BSNL should go with it in an aggressive manner.

5) Giving priority to increased broadband penetration and complaint resolution at earliest. Minimum two weeks for broadband complaint resolution attitude is destroying BSNL in broadband field. This need to change and an easiest compliant redressal mechanism with strict SLAs should be introduced.

6) Installing more masts or antennas in towers can to an extent help in solving coverage problems. Bringing easy procedures for the installation of micro towers will help boost connectivity in rural/ village areas.

7) Another aspect in which BSNL seems to be a failure is the promotion of personal or seasonal offers. Currently BSNL only offers full Talktime vouchers during festive seasons, while private players bring offer in all types of services like data, SMS, voice or bundled offering. BSNL needs to concentrate on seasonal offers. Personalized offers seem to be nil from BSNL, though it helps in keeping net neutrality on service tariffs to their customers. But there can be a little improvement in their seasonal offers; they can be extended from full Talktime offers to voice data SMS STVs.

8) BSNL should keep union problems out of the equation during service delivery to customers.

9) It should set target points for a definite period and analyse it, to get trends of market conditions.

10) Improving customer care services in all locations, common man finds it inconvenient going to consumer court or even make a complaint in PG portal for solving service oriented problems. Complaint solving at lowest levels and not leaving it for higher authorities, if possible should be encouraged.

In an aim to revive BSNL and MTNL, Telecommunication minister Sri.Ravi Shankar Prasad, has announced several incentives and plans for both the loss making firms. He is determined to revive BSNL as he did with Coal India. Some steps taken during this fiscal year under his leadership were:

  • Augmentation of BSNL mobile network as part of its Phase-VII Project to create additional capacity of 15 million lines at an estimated cost of Rs. 4804.77 crores. This will result in addition of 14421 2G sites and 10605 3G sites across the country.
  • Replacement of the entire network of wireline local exchanges by Internet Protocol (IP) enabled exchanges and deployment of Next Generation Network (NGN) equipment based on the latest architecture gradually to replace entire legacy telephone exchanges at an estimated cost of Rs. 600 crores. Migration of entire C-DOT (Centre for Development of Telematics) legacy telephone exchanges with technology solutions being developed by C-DOT at an estimated cost of Rs. 350 crores for which MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) has been signed between C-DOT and BSNL.
  • Government has assigned the work of providing mobile connectivity in 2199 identified locations in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas through BSNL at an estimated cost of Rs. 3567.58 crores.
  • Government has assigned the work of providing mobile connectivity to uncovered villages in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam to BSNL on nomination basis at an estimated cost of Rs. 1975.38 crores.

The new projects of MTNL are:

  • Augmentation of mobile network to enhance coverage and capacity by adding 1080 3G sites and 800 2G sites in Delhi and 1080 3G sites and 566 2G sites in Mumbai. The packet core capacity (Data handling capacity of network) will be upgraded to 10 Gbps in Delhi and Mumbai.
  • Augmentation of Microwave (M/W) backhaul network to support the enhanced speed.
  • Migration of legacy telephone exchanges network to internet protocol (IP) based New Generation Network (NGN) exchanges in collaboration with C-DOT.

Readers please give us your feedback on how to improve these PSUs and what makes you think BSNL plays an important role in telecom sector of our country!

Reported By

An enthusiastic and a resourceful individual who takes a systematic approach towards Indian Telecom Industry and a Mechanical Engineer by Choice.

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