India’s government-run telco, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), is readying for a large-scale 4G network roll out using indigenously development technology by the end of this year. The telco said that its soon-to-be launched 4G network is 5G ready. The telco will launch its network in August this year in select cities and has already issued a purchase order to IT services provider Tata Consultancy Services to deploy 6400 4G sites, according to a report by the Economic Times.
BSNL may place an additional order for another 4G 6,000 telecom sites next month, taking the total sites count to 50,000 during the 2022-23 fiscal, which will help the telco to increase its revenue by almost 20%, Pravin Kumar Purwar, chairman, BSNL informed the publication.
The state-driven telco, however, is yet to finalise its tariff plans for the ambitious 4G-backed commercial launch of data services.
TCS is acting as a master system integrator and is leading a consortium, which includes state-run Center for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), which has developed India’s own 4G core technology.
Both TCS and C-DoT have successfully demonstrated 4G services using their 4G stack as part of the trial network for BSNL in Ambala and Chandigarh cities of Northern state Punjab.
The state-run telco will operate its 4G network in 900 MHz and 2100 MHz bands in the country.
The publication, citing C-DoT chairman Rajkumar Upadhyay, report that BSNL now has a seamless network scalability roadmap, under which the telco’s 4G network would be upgraded to 5G a non-standalone (NSA) by end of 2022, and to 5G standalone (SA) by 2023.
Notably, BSNL’s survival and competitiveness depends on the launch of 4G services.
BSNL, as per the report, hasn’t started work to finalise its tariff plans for commercial 4G data services.
“BSNL always designs its tariff by considering its consumers supreme. Today, we are a competitive player in the market, and believe in a value for money for customers,” Purwar informed the publication.
The telco is also planning to increase its focus on growing the enterprise business in the country with the help of its vast wireline network. It claims to be adding 100,000 new fibre connections every month.
India’s telecom department is gung-ho about the locally developed 4G stack and said that it will help address security-related concerns such as backdoors in telecom gear.
The Department of Telecommunications’s secretary K Rajaraman recently claimed that the indigenously-developed stack will be economical as compared to technology provided by European vendors like Ericsson and Nokia.