BSNL Will Shut Down In 2 Years If 4G Equipment Not Received, Warns Employees
In the absence of 4G, Government-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) cannot survive in the industry beyond two years, wrote All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi In a letter.
In the past years, BSNL has tried getting many improvements concerning broadband and prepaid benefits.
Still, BSNL lags in the 4G sector since all the other telcos have already rolled out these services for over 5 years.
In the same regards, BSNL employees group called the All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to Minister of Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Wherein they have expressed the need for the telco to roll out 4G in the country soon.
In addition to that, they have also asked the government to let them procure equipment if it is not indigenous.
Indiscrimination Against BSNL
In the letter, they requested the government to not discriminate against BSNL based on the “Make in India” policy.
Out of the upgradable 49,300 BTSs, 13,300 BTSs are supplied by Nokia and 36,000 BTSs are supplied by ZTE and are 4G, 3G, and 2G compatible, as mentioned by BSNL employees.
They want the government to allow BSNL to get its 2G and 3G BTSs upgraded to 4G BTSs to launch 4G services, said AUAB.
Further, the equipment of phase 8.4 expansion is supplied by Nokia as L1.
They mentioned that 4G BTSs can be procured through that tender, by way of placing an add-on purchasing order.
Moreover, they noted that the ailing telco should be allowed to procure 4G BTSs from the phase 8.4 tender.
It is noteworthy here that Nokia is Finnish while ZTE is of the Chinese origin.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended a need for indigenous manufacturing of telecom equipment earlier this year.
Make In India Policy
Basically they want to cut dependence on imports to net zero by 2022.
The move will also create self-reliance and new job opportunities within India.
However, International vendors think otherwise and have expressed that TRAI’s new proposal was unrealistic and would make their business unviable given India’s telecom landscape.
According to the General Secretary, SNEA, K Sebastin, “BSNL is facing attacks from all sides. If we don’t remain united it will be very difficult to save BSNL. In the past also, only the employees have protected BSNL through their struggles and not the Management. The AUAB has already sent a letter to all the Unions and Associations, which are not part of the AUAB, requesting them to join the AUAB, for organising united actions. If they make a positive move, we will welcome them,”.
Further, the employees have reiterated its demand for adequate compensation for the losses caused by an inordinate delay in the launch of 4G services.
Lets keep a watch on this space to find out the government’s response.