After the comments from the telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on the scope of a new player coming to the telecom sector, Indians should actually get more confident about the future of the state-run telecom operator – BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited). The private telcos have been ruling the Indian telecom market for years and BSNL has been struggling all because it doesn’t have PAN-India 4G coverage. Well, this could change pretty fast. The government has announced a relief package worth Rs 1.64 crore for BSNL. Now, this is something that we have already talked about, and if you want to know more about the relief package, well, you can click/tap here.
BSNL is one unique case for the Indian market. After what happened with loss-making Air India, many expected the government to stop wasting the hard-earned money of taxpayers and privatise BSNL as well. Instead, the government has gone ahead and announced a relief package. Well, BSNL isn’t making money to expand operations on its own. Thus, the government is stepping in to help BSNL for launching 4G, followed by 5G and expand its business.
BSNL’s 4G and 5G Can be a Good Thing for India
BSNL’s 4G can actually be a good thing for the Indian telecom market. Now while it is costing the Indian citizens a lot of money in taxes, there are also going to be benefits. BSNL is the only telecom operator which would go to a non-viable market/place and provide services. The state-run telco is also present in many places of India where it isn’t making a profit but is only there to provide basic connectivity services to people living there. Against this, BSNL has been given viability gap funding by the government. It is a part of the relief package.
With this help from the government, BSNL can fund its capex for 4G. The faster BSNL can rollout 4G, the faster it can come out with 5G. Being at the bottom of the market for so many years, BSNL has been suffocating very badly. If BSNL was a private telco, it would have gone out of the market already. But because of the government’s help, BSNL is continuing to provide services. There are many USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) projects that BSNL is a part of, and the telco is going to take on more such projects. At the end of the day, it is a fruitful thing for the whole country and its economy.
Right now, the future of BSNL looks decent enough if it can launch homegrown 4G followed by 5G networks. It will all depend on the kind of services that the homegrown 4G stack from BSNL can deliver. If not good enough, it will be a huge blow to the company’s business as already a lot of time has passed, and the private telcos have started making their moves for 5G.