BSNL Ready To Roll Out 4G VoLTE Services – ‘Future Ready’ For 5G Trials
BSNL is the third Indian Telco to launch VoLTE after Jio and Airtel
With Airtel ready to switch on their 4G VoLTE service in the country, BSNL is ready with their own country-wide rollout of 4G VoLTE services. Not satisfied with only 4G VoLTE, state-owned BSNL has even started their groundwork on 5G services to get ready for the future.
BSNL has already started to work on their pan-India 4G VoLTE network. They will roll out the service as soon as they get the spectrum permission from the government, BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava said.
4G And 5G Permissions Together
The state owned Telco last year wrote to the Department of Telecom (DoT) to allocate the airwaves in the 700 MHz band. This will allow the company to roll out their 4G services (which includes 4G VoLTE) across the country. BSNL is expecting to get the government’s permission to use the airwaves in the 700MHz band, which will offer both 4G and 5G services in the future.
High Debt Burden May Delay Spectrum Auction
BSNL needs to match the highest bidder’s price in order to acquire the spectrum, though historically they don’t need to participate in the auction. But, given the recent condition of the telecom sector, and the high debt of burden of the telecom market, the proposed auction for the 4G and 5G spectrum in the various bands may get delayed by another year. BSNL is all set to report a revenue of Rs. 28,700 crore in fiscal 2016-17, against their Rs. 28,400 crore a year before. This, despite the stiff competition from Reliance Jio and other telecoms.
Revival Is On At Full Swing
BSNL is aiming to turn profitable at the net level by the end of fiscal 2018-19. CMD Anupam Srivastava has admitted that the company is lagging in the telco race in the last few years, but the process of revival is on. They are had at work, updating their infrastructure in order to remain in the reckoning.
40,000 New Base Stations
BSNL has recently finalized a Rs. 6,000 crore deal to set up 40,000 new base stations in the country, which will be implemented by Nokia and ZTE. The work in the southern and western region will be done by Nokia, while northern and eastern parts will be executed by ZTE.
Next Target: Better Internet
Telecom minister Manoj Sinha earlier said, India is switching from a voice-centric nation to a data-centric nation. It is being expected that the overall data usage in the country will soon surpass China and USA. BSNL is looking ahead to work on bettering their internet services, so it can deliver better in terms of coverage and availability.
New Tariff Plans With VoLTE Service
The VoLTE service will allow a better voice communication over the data pipeline. BSNL already has introduced multiple competitive plans for data, but was not able to offer free unlimited voice due to unavailability of VoLTE. Now with VoLTE service, BSNL is in a position to offer unlimited voice calls with unlimited internet. Airtel will open up their maiden 4G VoLTE service this week. Idea Cellular and Vodafone are working on their networks to enter the VoLTE market.
BSNL is in talks with Nokia for 5G field trials. They have also signed a knowledge sharing agreement with network firm Coriant in this regard.
BSNL’s track record in offering high speed internet has not been great so far. It remains to be seen whether they can deliver on their promise of a high-speed VoLTE network.