BSNL to Install ‘Zero Base’ Mobile Towers in India; Signs Intra-Circle Roaming Pact with Reliance Jio
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a state-owned telecommunications company has been doing just fine in India, which dominance in some states, while complete absence in the rest.
After launching a host of services in India to lure subscribers, BSNL is planning to install 50 ‘Zero Base’ mobile towers to improve the aesthetics and overall functionality of a tower. To be very honest, the mobile towers sprouting up these days are an eyesore, along with no added functionality.
BSNL was quite impressed with the ideas presented at Mobile World Congress 2016 and has requested companies like ZTE, Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei to provide quotes for purchase in India.
What is Zero Base?
Zero Base or Zero Site towers are essentially a multi-function towers, that not only propagate waves for mobile operators, but also act as a street-light, charging docks for devices, security camera holder and Wi-Fi hotspots etc.
The towers are also designed very well and do not hinder with the view of the background for the onlooker. These are becoming quite popular in European countries, where such technologies are promoted more by the Government.
Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman and MD at BSNL, told PTI, “We are focusing on zero base towers as if you see in India, the skyline is scattered with so many towers and it sometimes become an eyesore. We are also looking for a tower which could have multi functionalities like it can work as an wi-fi hotspot, it can work as a light emission tower, it can work as a camera plus tower.”
Once the above mentioned companies approach BSNL with the quotes, a wise decision will have to be taken to assess the cost of installation and purchase. BSNL hopes to have everything finalized and implemented in the next 6 months.
BSNL Signs ICR pact with Reliance Jio
BSNL has joined hands with Reliance Jio to launch an intra-circle roaming(ICR) program in 22 circles in the country. The deal is expected to close in a month’s time, once the two companies finish working on the technicalities of it.
According to the deal, in case any customer is the area of BSNL’s ICR, the other network, which has signed the pact, will have to pay some money to ensure the subscriber uses BSNL’s network.
BSNL is also in talks with other private players in the industry to share its infrastructure with them. Whenever a subscriber is in the BSNL’s defined circle, the base transceiver stations will be shared amongst the mobile operators.
Prices fixed by BSNL for ICR program
Voice roaming service has been fixed at 25 paise per minute for any telecom operator who has signed the ICR agreement. SMS service has been fixed at 5 paise per message, while data consumption has been fixed at 25 paise per Megabyte(MB).
In case a telecom operators intends to share BSNL’s services, they will have to shell out the above sums of money to ensure continuation of services on BSNL’s network.
BSNL hopes to rake in about Rs 300-400 Crore a year, pretty good for a state-owned company. A Government-Private partnership is exactly what we need at this moment, and both the initiatives are definitely going to attract more people to it.