The Department of Telecommunications (DoT)-led panel has finally submitted its finding on the terms and conditions for the procurement of fourth-generation or 4G equipment by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) that suggested a system integrator-led network deployment model.
Today, GS-AIGETOA got a call from DDG PSU from Dept of Telecom about the issue of delay in 4G roll out in BSNL as raised by us to Hon’ble MoC & IT Govt of India and Secretary DoT vide our letter dated 01.10.2020. It was emphasized by him that DoT is very concerned about the roll out of 4G Services and following up with BSNL Management to utilize the opportunity as given by the government in the form of the free allocation of bandwidth for the services. We raised our serious apprehension to derail the much hyped rollout of 4G Mobile Services by BSNL from certain quarters, which is evident in the form of cancellation of 4G Tender of BSNL in the last moment on the name of indigenous equipment and formation of committee on the issue by the Dept of Telecom. We highlighted about serious bottleneck in mobile data speed in absence of commercial launch of 4G by us and difficulties faced in survival of BSNL in competitive telecom market when other operators are moving towards 5G Services.
DDG PSU was affirmative about our concern and asked us to have a detailed meeting on the 4G and other issues as raised with authorities in DoT on a suitable date. AIGETOA CHQ team will be meeting them very soon as directed.
In the meanwhile the Committee formed by the DoT on the issue has submitted its report which will be shared to BSNL very soon. He said all necessary actions shall be taken for an expeditious action for ensuring 4G services by BSNL.
AIGETOA is committed for the revival of BSNL in true letter and spirit and hence time and reached out to the DoT and Hon’ble MoC & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Ji for the complete and timely implementation of the all the measures approved by the Union Cabinet on 23.10.2019. Our GS has welcomed the revival plan in an interview to NDTV in Oct, 2019.
But even after passage of more than nine months of the approval of the BSNL/MTNL Revival Plan, none of the arms of the plan has reached to its conclusion except implementation of VRS. The utmost important aspect of launching of the 4G services has been derailed by the various lobbying by getting the 4G tender cancelled just before one week of opening. Now, the initiations of the process afresh have pushed the project a year back further. We have already suggested the DoT and BSNL management to immediately start rollout of the 4G service by upgrading existing 3G/2G nodes though the existing OEMs of the phase VII and phase VIII.4 tender till a regular tender is not put in place.
BSNL/MTNL Revival Package Facts at Glance:
- Implementation of VRS in BSNL/MTNL funded by GoI – Implemented
- Rollout of 4G Service by BSNL against allotment of 4G spectrum- Awaited
- Issuance of bond to raise fund of Rs 15000 Cr by BSNL/MTNL- Awaited
- Raising of Rs 38000 Cr through monetization of land by BSNL/ MTNL-Awaited
- Proposed merger of MTNL into BSNL by addressing the issues –Awaited