State-owned telecom firm, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is all set to launch 4G service in December at a small scale.
Later on, it plans to roll it out across the country by June next year, said the Chairman and Managing Director, P K P said on Saturday.
BSNL 4G Services Launch
BSNL will start rolling out 4G services commercially from December onwards.
It has a target of pan-India rollout by June 2024, PK Purwar said during a media interaction on Saturday.
Purwar said that the company plans to upgrade 4G service to 5G after June.
They plan to first deploy the services in Punjab, followed by Haryana, Uttarakhand, and other circles.
Further adding, “BSNL 4G service is ready for launch in Punjab in December. We have already done the hardening required for a network with 200 sites. are in the process of installing 3,000 sites in Punjab.”
BSNL will gradually increase network deployment to and then to 9,000, 12,000 and 15,000 sites per month, Purwar said.
Adding, “June 2024 is the time by which 100,000 towers will start radiating 4G for BSNL. We are targeting a full service launch by that time.”
BSNL Facing Customer Retention Challenge
“Our target is to complete 4G roll-out by June 2024. Post June 2024 will be moving to 5G services,” Purwar said.
It appears that the IT company TCS and government-owned ITI have bagged orders about Rs 19,000 crore from BSNL for deploying 4G network which is upgradable to 5G.
Purwar said that the BSNL has enough spectrum to deploy 5G ser once 4G roll-out is completed.
He further added, “In the beta stage of 4G, as on date, nearly 35,000-40,000 customers are using BSNL 4G services on the indigenous stack.”
These comments from Purwar hold significance as in the absence of 4G services, the company has been losing its subscriber base for nearly two years now.
BSNL has lost nearly 16.2 million subscribers in the last 19 months ended July, taking its subscriber base to 98 million.
While talking about his concerns, Purwar said, “Until and unless, BSNL’s technology upgradation does not get completed, we will have a customer retention challenge. So, the moment 4G services are available, we will start seeing customer retention.”