The ambitious 4G commercial service launch by the state-owned telecom carrier is to be supported by the deployment of 1 lakh network sites, according to a recommendation made on Monday by the board of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
Department to seel clearance from GoM by early March:
An upper-level official stated that the “BSNL Board has recommended the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-led consortium to deploy 100,000 sites” and that the public sector telco would soon present its views to the telecom department (DoT).
According to the official, the department would request approval from the Group of Ministers (GoM) by early March in order to issue a purchase order (PO).
The development follows an internal meeting last week that Ashwini Vaishnaw, the telecom minister, presided over to expedite the procurement of network equipment for the BSNL’s 4G foray.
For a total of Rs 24556.37 crore, which includes the cost of third-party items, a 10-year annual maintenance contract (AMC), and network gear costing approximately Rs 13,000 crores, Mumbai-based TCS, a member of the Tata group, will provide 4G equipment for 100,000 sites.
Following the proof of concept (PoC), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and the government-run ITI Limited submitted their bids in November of last year to deploy the BSNL’s next-generation network across four zones in the entire country.
Despite the fact that ITI has a 20% reservation in network procurement, the company proposed using hardware provided by the TCS-led consortium, which also includes core network hardware from the privately held Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT).
The supply of radio equipment is anticipated to be finished over an 18–24 month period, while the supply of core equipment was proposed to be completed within a year of receiving the purchase order (PO) by the Tata group company.
Centre allocated Rs 52,937 crore to BSNL:
The BSNL 4G network’s in-house telecom stack setup underwent testing for 10 million simultaneous calls last year.
The Center allocated Rs 52,937 crore to BSNL in the Union Budget 2023–24, which will primarily be used for the construction of new towers and the transition to 4G and 5G technology. After the full commercial launch of next-generation services in 2023–2024, the public sector telco anticipates a 20% increase in revenue.
Devusinh Chauhan, the Minister of State for Communications, stated in the Parliament earlier this month that BSNL is anticipated to turn a profit in the fiscal year 2026–2027 following the implementation of the revival package.
Following a Rs 69,000 crore rescue plan in 2019, the Union Cabinet approved a Rs 1.64 lakh crore revival package for struggling BSNL and MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) in July of last year.