A little too late? BSNL to launch 4G services by next financial year
While private telecom players such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have launched 4G services and Reliance Jio to do so soon, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will launch its 4G services by next financial year. While Mahangar Telephone Nigam Ltd has no immediate plans for launching 4G services.
When asked about whether public service telecom companies plan to launch 4G services Manoj Sharma, Minister of State (MoS) of the Ministry of Communication and Railways in response to a question in Rajya Sabha said, “BSNL plans to upgrade its network for 4G GSM services through tender. Based on the outcome of the tender, tentatively BSNL may launch its 4G services progressively during next financial year (2017-18). Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has no immediate plans for launching 4G services, as it has already surrendered 2300 MHz band spectrum.
Apart from this, BSNL does not intend to participate on forthcoming phase of spectrum auction for 4G due to financial and other reasons. As of now, MTNL has not taken any decision regarding taking part in forthcoming phase of spectrum auction for 4G.
“Till July 30, 2016 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has installed 2,526 Wi-Fi hotspots to provide high wireless internet services. For 2016-17 BSNL has planned to install 3,700 Wi-Fi hotspots. However, these Wi-Fi hotspots cannot provide 4G services,” he added.
The government received total bids of Rs 1.09 lakh crore through spectrum allocation last year. Out of this the government received Rs 28,856.9 crore as an upfront amount from telecom companies in 2015.
The companies include Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Jio, Aircel, Reliance Communication and Tata Teleservices. The spectrum allocated during 2015 includes 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz.