BSNL 4G Tests Successfully Completed; BSNL 4G Expected To Start From January, 2023!
BSNL has completed the trials for its indigenous 4G network as part of the proof of concept with a Tata Consultancy Services-led consortium.
It was completed in the last week of October in Chandigarh.
Location not yet decided
A government official said that all the necessary network tests as part of proof-of-concept with a TCS-led consortium have concluded.
Now the location has to be decided where the rollout of 4G services will take place.
Significant development for BSNL
This development, the completion of proof-of-concept for the 4G network, is a significant one for BSNL.
The telco can now get ready to launch the services by January using indigenous technology stack across 100,000 tower sites in a phased manner.
However, both BSNL and TCS are yet to agree on the pricing and other commercial terms related to the 4G network.
Discussions are in advanced stages and will be finalised soon.
TCS has reportedly asked about Rs 21,000 crore for rolling out BSNL’s 4G network whereas BSNL wants the deal to be done at Rs 16,000 crore.
Other players who were in consideration
In January last year, BSNL invited expressions of interest (EoIs) from domestic firms to test the quality of their telecom equipment before giving them the tender to roll out 4G network.
The letter of intent was issued to TCS, HFCL, Tech Mahindra, L&T, and ITI, with only TCS eventually recruited.
This July the government had also approved a Rs 1.64-trillion revival package for BSNL so that it becomes financially viable.
The revival package includes, among other things:
- Administrative allocation of spectrum to BSNL to provide 4G services
- De-stressing of company’s balance sheet
- Financial support for capital expenditure
- Viability gap funding for rural wireline projects
Revenue fell but so did loss
In FY22, the telco reported a 4% fall in revenue to Rs 16,809 crore.
Its net loss, however, narrowed to Rs 6,982 crore, compared to Rs 7,441 crore in the preceding financial year.