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BSNL Announces Rs 2000 Crore Modernization Drive; 3G & Rural Areas To Be Major Focus Area

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BSNL Homepage Screenshot

State run telecom firm BSNL will launch a major modernization drive pan-India; and a generous amount of Rs 2000 crore has been earmarked for the same. Interestingly, 3G network would be a major focus area, and almost 50-60% of the investment would be targeted for making 3G coverage stronger and faster.

This is indeed an interesting strategy, considering that all private telecom biggies such as Reliance, Airtel and others are rigorously focussing on the 4G expansion in urban areas; and this has created a gap in resources and coverage for those rural users who are still stuck in 2G and wish to experience faster Internet and telecom services.

Where Will BSNL Invest?

In a recent meeting held between IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad & BSNL officials, it was shared that BSNL will invest in:

  • Installing 21,000 new Base Transceiver Station (BTS), which includes 13,000 new BTS for 3G services in rural areas
  • 660 exchanges with traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network) have already been upgraded to NGN (Next Generation Network); and more such upgradations would be accomplished now.
  • Department of Telematics would be working on the new NGN exchanges, which will embed ‘Make in India’ vision
  • Value Added Services (VAS) services would be now implemented pan-India, using the NGS exchange module
  • A new technology called Fixed Mobile Telephony (FMT) would be implemented using the new NGS exchange. FMT will allow fixed line users to seamlessly make/receive calls and access Internet while on the move.
  • Free and Public Wi-Fi hotspots powered by BSNL’s 3G services would be installed across all historic, religious monuments. In the first phase, around 2500 such hotspots have been proposed.

While sharing the details about this new modernization drive for BSNL, Minister Prasad said that in order to remain competitive, BSNL will have to reinvent themselves, and offer better, faster and more reliable services.

After newly launched Reliance Jio was able to beat BSNL in mobile cell tower installations, even without acquiring a single customer, alarm bells has to ring for the state run telco.

With innovative offerings like video on demand, BSNL is trying to get in sync with the modern telecom user, for whom making and receiving calls is not the most important factor of using a mobile phone. Last year, BSNL attempted a major coup by offering 80% less tariff for the new user; but issues pertaining to poor telecom services still remains.

Besides, BSNL’s 4G services are also expected to change the market dynamics in India.

Will BSNL’s renewed focus on improving their telecom infrastructure help them to attract customers from private players? Do share your opinions by commenting right here.

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