The launch of BSNL 4G services has been delayed again.
At a time when India is on the verge of shifting to 5G services, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) still struggling to launch its 4G services in the country.
While most telecom operators in the country like Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are all set to deploy their 5G services, the state-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is seen pushing back its 4G launch.
Previous reports hinted that state-run telecom operators could roll out their 4G services in India sometime in the year 2022. However, a new report claims that it could be further delayed until 2023.
A report from The New Indian Express suggests that BSNL is likely to launch its 4g services in 2023. Hopeful users of the telecom could be disappointed with this information since their wait to see the performance of BSNL’s 4G services has been extended.
The publication mentioned that BSNL will be able to begin its 4G service in the year 2023 as the state-run telecom is yet to complete its equipment procurement process. The publication further mentioned that BSNL is only using indigenous equipment to upgrade its services to 4G, which is also one of the reasons for the delay in the launch of its services.
BSNL, on the other hand, has not commented yet on what is causing the delay. However, the publication mentioned that a senior official from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) disclosed that the company is struggling to obtain specialized equipment for rolling out its 4G services in the country.
BSNL can obtain specialized equipment for rolling out 4G services only from indigenous companies.
Notably, BSNL can obtain the specialized equipment for rolling out 4G services only from indigenous companies, which is also another reason for the delay in the launch of its 4G services. It is worth mentioning that TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) is BSNL’s partner for supplying radios.
BSNL has been operating at a loss for several years and has time and again been provided with multiple relief packages in the last five years. Therefore, for those that were hopeful of the telecom’s 4G services launch, this piece of information might come as a shocker.
BSNL has also been strictly advised by the government to work towards offering consumers better services after the relief package. And of course, consumers are not going to be excited if the state-run telco doesn’t even roll out its 4G services when other private telecom services are gearing up for 5G.
BSNL may launch its 4G and 5G services at the same time.
Reports also state that there might be a possibility that the state-run telecom will roll out its 5G services in the country around the same time as its 4G services.
It is worth mentioning that the report has come at a time when BSNL’s losses have shrunk after receiving a relief package from the government from Rs 15,000 crores during the financial years 2019-2020 to Rs 7,441 crores in the financial years 2020-2021.
However, it is evident that the government is trying its best to revive the telecom company. The government recently infused a Rs 1.64 lakh crore relief package to save the near-defunct telecom company.
After the announcement of the package was made, telecom minister Ashwani Vaishnaw had given Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) a target to double its subscriber base to 200 million, and this was to be done via both 4G and 5G services. The minister also said that the rollout of the 5G services will happen in parallel to the 4G rollout once the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-Dot) is ready with the 5G technology.
The state-owned telco, having suffered a total loss of Rs 50,631 crore in the past five years, continued to lose its subscriber base after private telecom companies overshadowed it despite having received approval for a relief package of Rs 1.64 lakh crore from the government this year that could be used for obtaining and deploying 4G and 5G services throughout the country.
According to the information provided by the Minister of state for communication, Devusingh Jesingbhai Chauhan, BSNL has lost nearly 2 crore subscribers in the past five years.
Also, as per the latest telecom regulator data, MTNL and BSNL together have a market share of only 10% in the wireless segment. Besides, the Public Sector Undertakings during May 2022 lost nearly 5 lakh wireless customers.
What is more interesting is the fact that this is not the first time BSNL has delayed the launch of its 4G services. In fact, in a report earlier this year, the telecom suggested a similar rollout time for its 4G services in the country.
In the end, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is yet to confirm when exactly it is planning to roll out its 4G services to the hopeful fans of BSNL.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma