GS AIGETOA writes to Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Ji, Hon’ble Minister of Communication, Govt of India with a copy to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and senior functionaries of the government for consideration of our request for protecting the long term sustainability of BSNL by allowing it to upgrade its network for the launch of 4G Services through existing Proven Technologies and at the same time process for development of indigenous 4G/5G technology should also be undertaken in parallel.
We have mentioned that while we welcome the idea of current initiative of Government of India to develop indigenous technologies as part of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” in Telecom Field also but at the same BSNL should be protected from getting obsolete and redundant due to absence of full-fledged 4G services for a very long period of time in the cut-throat competitive era. We have highlighted that there is no company in India at present, which can provide Made in India core for 4G Technology. This whole technology needs to be developed indigenously and is definitely going to take minimum 1-2 years to ensure a firm and rugged technology in place and another few years after full-fledged rollout to ensure its efficacy and proven-ness in a go-live environment. Till that time, BSNL 4G services cannot be allowed to be affected by virtue of this experiment as it has the potential to ruin the business prospects of the company in totality and will affect the livelihood of around 65000 employees working in BSNL. Accordingly AIGETOA has requested to allow BSNL to upgrade/expand the network for 4G services through existing proven technologies and as an interim measure 50,000 odd BTSs may be allowed to be upgraded through the add on orders which will enable BSNL to rollout 4G services within minimum possible time.
At the same time, AIGETOA understands and also supports the significance of ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT in the Telecom field which has an important strategic advantage not only for taking Indian Technologies to the next generation but also is critical for the security of our mother nation. Accordingly, we have suggested that instead of holding the full fledged roll out of 4G Services for the want of indigenous technology, BSNL may be allowed to upgrade the infra through existing available and proven technologies and at the same time, a parallel exercise to develop the indigenous 4G/5G core by reserving some locations and allocating a separate spectrum for testing should be done. Once the technology is in place and its efficacy and proven-nessis ascertained, all the operators should be asked to migrate to the indigenous technology as mandatory condition to rollout 5G services. Since the development of this technology will be in the best interests of the country and will create a new chapter in the Indian Telecom era, Government of India should bear the expenditure for rolling out this Project along with expenses for AMC for five years. Association has also requested for ensuring monetary compensation to BSNL for the delay in roll out of 4G services because of all these issues. Association has further requested that all the Central and State Government Departments, Institutions and PSUs should be asked to mandatorily utilize BSNL mobile services also in line with the recent directive to use BSNL/MTNL lease line/landline/broadband to add revenue potential of BSNL. As doing away with 2G services will be next to impossible for BSNL for next few years and also the fact that these services are still required for many Indian citizens, especially for those below poverty line, AIGETOA has requested for extending the 2G spectrum allotment for next few years and also that the new developed core should not be a 4G only model but should support 2G/3G/4G technologies on the same core. Running two parallel networks for 2G/3G will not only be economically unviable but also will degrade the quality of service also.
Association has also requested that as BSNL has been totally engaged in carrying forward the telecom vision of government and also Atma Nirbhar Bharat Showcase Model for the Nation, BSNL should be exempted from profitability clause and the company and its employees should be compensated irrespective of Profit/Loss theory and the employees should get all the benefits of employees of BSNL at par with other Grade-A CPSE including that of extending Standard Pay Scales, Superannuation Benefits, Career Progression and other benefits. We have also requested that BSNL should be exempted from the profitability clause and the 3rd PRC should be implemented in BSNL without linking it to the profitability of the company and the additional fund on these counts should be borne out by the Government of India.
Friends, changing the thought process of government are herculean task and we all need to remain united. Association has decided to start a social media campaign also for the same so that government can ensure the long term survival of BSNL by considering the request of its employees.