BSNL Starts Rolling Out 4G Across India: Rs 11,000 Cr Budget Allocated For 60,000 New 4G Towers!
To all the customers using the services of the state run telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nagar Limited (BSNL), there’s good news.
After ages of waiting, the telecom company has started the process to roll out 4G services across the country with an outlay of around Rs 11,000 crore.
How Did BSNL Revive Through all the Downfall?
Late last year, the government approved nearly Rs 70,000-crore revival package for the two state-run companies, BSNL and MTNL.
The biggest chunk of the revival package, Rs 29,937 crore was put into the state run telecom company’s Voluntary Retirement Scheme for employees above 50 years of age, in order to save Rs 7,000 crore in annual wage bill.
Over 78,300 BSNL employees and 14,378 at MTNL opted for this VRS, cutting down the company’s monthly cost of staff drastically. That being said, the company is now gearing to expand its services.
BSNL’s 4G Rollout Plan
The company has come out with a tender for installing 50,000 new 4G sites in north, east, west and south zones and around 7,000 new sites for Delhi and Mumbai zones (for MTNL) entailing an investment of Rs 8,697 crore.
The last date for vendors to apply for contracts is May 8 and these bids shall be opened by May 9.
The company will also upgrade around 43,000 2G and 3G sites to 4G, costing another Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000 crore.
As per the bidding document, the company with the lowest evaluated price of the technically and commercially responsive bids (L1) will be given the choice to select any three of the five zones for which the tender has been floated.
The L2 bidder will be given the choice to select any one of the remaining two zones at L1 price. In case L2 declines to accept the offer, the same shall be offered to L3 bidder and so on at the L1 price.
However, if all the remaining participating bidders refuse the offer, it shall be obligatory on the L1 bidder to choose one of the remaining two zones at L1 price.
The remaining fifth zone will be given to ITI Limited against reservation quota at L1 price and in case of refusal by ITI, it will be obligatory for the L1 bidder to accept this zone as well on L1 price.
In order to arrange for funds for 4G network, BSNL has already written to the government to provide it with a sovereign guarantee of Rs 15,000 crore, which will allow it to raise money from the market.
The finance ministry has said it will provide the guarantee this month. The guarantee is part of the revival package approved by the government.
Apart from the VRS, the government will provide Rs 23,814 crore towards administrative allocation of 4G spectrum to these companies.
The government also said the two PSUs would monetise their assets like land worth Rs 38,000 crore over a period of four years.