BSNL 4G Will Launch In August, 2022: Confirmed By Telecom Minister; 4G Equipments To Be Bought By April
BSNL is expected to launch its 4G commercial services in Q2 of fiscal 2022-23 after a purchase order (PO) for network equipment procurement is placed by April.
4G Launch By September
The commercial rollout is expected to begin from August-September 2022, confirmed minister of state for Communications Devusinh Chauhan.
The state-run telco’s 4G launch has seen constant delays for more than six years while it continues to lose revenue due to not offering 4G when other private firms already have.
In April 2015, the then BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava wrote to the telecom department (DoT) seeking 2500 MHz frequency band to launch 4G services.
Beset By Delays
In July 2021, BSNL allowed a Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-backed consortium to test the network within a 120-day timeframe.
This was later extended up to December 31, 2021 following the delay in supply of specified power-backed radio equipment.
Tata group and state-driven R&D organisation Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) emerged as the dominant consortium and is currently undertaking a Proof-Of-Concept in Ambala and Chandigarh for network testing and demonstration purposes.
Tech Mahindra and L&T stepped away, giving the Tata group the lead after the DoT’s technical committee recommended using an Indian core in BSNL’s next generation network.
Last October, minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw and DoT secretary K. Rajaraman made a first test VoLTE call on an indigenously-developed 4G network.
In the initial phase BSNL will deploy 4G equipment at 50,000 sites in urban and semi-urban areas.
Its operating expense (opex) of the 4G network rollout is likely to come close to Rs 800 crore per annum.
BSNL chairman Pravin Kumar Purwar said that the company will be in a better market position once it launches its 4G services.
Its market share had reduced to 9.60%, as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) recent statistics.