BSNL 4G Launch Likely Delayed Until 2023


India is on the verge of entering the 5G era and telecom operators such as Airtel, Jio and Vi are all set to deploy their 5G services in the country. At this time, the state-run telco, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), is struggling to roll out its 4G services across India. Previous reports hinted that the telco could roll out its 4G services in all its operational circles sometime this year but a fresh report claims that it could be delayed until 2023.

BSNL 4G Launch Likely Delayed Until 2023

BSNL 4G Launch Delayed Again

According to The New Indian Express, BSNL could provide its 4G services across India sometime in 2023. While the telecom operator has not commented on the reason for this delay, a senior official from DoT (Department of Telecommunication) has revealed that the company is struggling to procure specialized equipment for the rollout of its 4G services in India. BSNL can procure equipment only from indigenous companies.

The official told the publication that BSNL will be able to offer its 4G services by next year as it is yet to complete the equipment procurement process. Also, it will be using only indigenous equipment to upgrade to 4G, which is one of the causes of the delay. Furthermore, the report notes that the company could also roll out 5G services in the country around the same time as its 4G services.

BSNL 4G Launch Likely Delayed Until 2023

BSNL Shows Improved Performance

This information regarding a delay in its 4G rollout has come at a time when BSNL's losses have shrunk by almost 50%. The losses in the fiscal year 2019-2020 were reported to be Rs. 15,000 crores and it has dropped to Rs. 7,441 crores in the fiscal year 2020-2021. This was possible as the telco received the relief package from the government. The overall losses reported by the telecom operators in the past five years account for Rs. 50,631 crores.

The Indian government approved a relief package of Rs. 1.64 lakh crores this year, which could be used for the procurement and deployment of 4G and 5G services as well. This is not the first time that we have come across reports related to a delay in the launch of BSNL's 4G services.

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