In a significant move to bolster Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given the green light to a comprehensive revival package worth ₹89,047 crore. This package aims to address the challenges faced by BSNL, including its limited infrastructure and fierce competition from industry giants such as Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea. The revival plan includes crucial equity infusion for BSNL and the allocation of 4G/5G spectrum, marking a notable stride forward for the state-owned telecom company.
BSNL’s Struggles and Revival Efforts
BSNL has endured difficulties due to its inadequate infrastructure and the cut-throat competition from Jio, Reliance Industries’ wireless arm, along with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. These competitors have aggressively rolled out affordable 4G services, challenging BSNL’s market position. To combat these challenges, the government has devised a comprehensive revival plan for the telecom giant.
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) Contemplation
Earlier reports indicated that the government was considering the closure of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), another debt-ridden telecommunications company. However, the government has shifted gears and is now contemplating transferring the staff and operations of MTNL to BSNL, abandoning the previous merger proposal between the two state-owned telecom companies. This decision stems from MTNL’s consistent losses and substantial debt burden.
Boost for Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL)
Following the news of the rival revival package for BSNL, shares of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd experienced a significant surge, rising nearly 12%. This positive market response reflects the potential benefits and renewed prospects for MTNL as it becomes integrated with BSNL.
BSNL Advances 4G Network Deployment
In a notable development, BSNL has awarded a substantial advance purchase order (APO) worth ₹3,889 crore to ITI, a central public sector undertaking, for the deployment of its 4G network. Under this agreement, ITI will undertake the manufacturing of the Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment. The APO issued by BSNL focuses on the Reservation Quota (RQ) Order, specifically in the West Zone. This strategic move reinforces BSNL’s commitment to enhancing its network infrastructure and delivering advanced 4G services to its customer base.
Expanded Connectivity for Remote Areas
Residents in border states, grappling with limited mobile and data connectivity, have received a glimmer of hope as BSNL initiates the installation of 20,000 4G towers. As part of the government’s broader 4G saturation plan, BSNL has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring connectivity in remote areas. This project is already underway, aiming to extend 4G coverage to approximately 25,000 villages that currently lack any form of reliable connectivity.
The approval of the ₹89,047 crore revival package signifies a major milestone for BSNL’s resurgence in the telecom sector. With the infusion of equity and the allocation of 4G/5G spectrum, BSNL is poised to compete more effectively against its rivals and improve its service offerings. Moreover, the integration of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd with BSNL and the deployment of advanced 4G infrastructure reflect the government’s commitment to enhancing telecommunications connectivity across the country.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is a government-owned telecommunications company based in New Delhi, India. It operates under the ownership of the Department of Telecommunications, which falls under the Ministry of Communications, Government of India. BSNL was established on October 1, 2000, by the Indian government.
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