“BSNL’s 4G service.

In the budget for 2020-21, Government has made provision for allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL and the same can be allotted to BSNL in May,2020. However, BSNL will not take the 4G spectrum immediately, since equipments will be ready for launching 4G service only after March, 2021. For 4G spectrum, BSNL has to pay Rs.5.5 crore, per day, as licence fee, even if BSNL does not use it. Hence, it is not wise to take the 4G spectrum, before the equipments are ready.

BSNL is already having 40,000 3G BTSs, which are 4G compatible. All these 40,000 BTSs can be upgraded to 4G BTSs, by which BSNL can immediately launch it’s 4G service. However, BSNL is experiencing certain difficulties in this regard. BSNL has to pay around Rs.2,000 crore as outstanding dues to the vendors of these BTSs, viz., Nokia, ZTE and Erricsson. Apart from that, Nokia is demanding a sum of Rs.3.5 lakh to Rs.7 lakh per BTS, for the upgradation of the 13,000 BTSs supplied by them. Whereas, ZTE is demanding a sum of Rs.7 lakh to Rs.10 lakh per BTS, for the upgradation of the 24,000 BTSs supplied by them. Since the rates are extremely high, BSNL is presently not in a position to upgrade these BTSs, for providing 4G service.” (BSNLEU Website)

The statement of the CMD BSNL as given in the brief of the discussions by the Unions/Associations with the CMD BSNL with regard to allotment of 4G Spectrum is given above. The CMD is stating that the 4G service will be ready for launching by March 2021 only ie. after one year.

This is unacceptable. One more year of delay for 4G services will further benefit the private telcos only and BSNL will suffer. Why can’t BSNL get the 4G Spectrum earlier and launch it? The excuses put by the management is untenable.