In a written response to a question posed in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State for Communications, Shri Devusinh Chauhan, provided an update on the progress being made toward the launch of BSNL’s 4G services across the country.
According to the information he provided, BSNL has been instructed to deploy the Indian 4G stack in accordance with the Atma-nirbhar Bharat initiative that the government is pursuing.
As a result, the BSNL began accepting expressions of interest (EOI) on January 1, 2021 for the Proof of Concept (PoC). The proof of concept has been finished, and there are only a few outstanding points.
The initial purchase order for 6,000 4G roll-out locations was issued by BSNL on 31-03-2022, and another purchase order for 6,000 4G roll-out locations was issued on 25-07-2022. After that, in October 2022, BSNL issued a request for proposals (RFP) to fulfil its requirement of one lakh 4G sites.
The revival plan for BSNL and MTNL was approved by the Government of India on the 23rd of October, 2019. It approved, among other things, the reduction of employee costs through a programme known as the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), the restructuring of debt through the raising of sovereign guarantee bonds, the administrative allotment of spectrum for 4G services through capital infusion, the monetization of core and non-core assets, and in-principal approval for the merger of BSNL and MTNL.
Since the beginning of the 2020-21 fiscal year, BSNL has been able to post positive EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization).
The government subsequently approved a revival package for BSNL on July 27, 2022, with a total estimated value of 1.64 lakh crores. This was done with the goal of making BSNL a successful public sector organisation. Spectrum will be assigned, BSNL’s services will be improved, its balance sheet will be de-stressed, and its fibre network will be extended. These are the main areas on which the government’s revitalization efforts have been concentrated.