Although it's comparatively late, the State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) may soon start competing with the private telecom service providers, as it is all set to launch its 4G LTE service in January.
"We have a different strategy for 4G like one is to utilize Wi-Fi route of 4G and for that we have already installed 15000 Wi-Fi hotspots which are 4G enabled and second is to go classical route like LTE which we will begin in January," Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman, and Managing Director, BSNL, told Gizbot in an exclusive interaction.
He further said, "Nokia and ZTE are going to install the 4G equipment by this month end first in West and South Zone and then in North, East Zone.
BSNL also wants to increase Wi-Fi hotspots up to 100,000 over two years, he added.
Meanwhile, a report in Deccan Chronicle says that Chennai will be the first city receiving 4G services if everything goes according to the plan.
The telco has also recently announced its tie-up with domestic handset maker Micromax for 4G feature phone which is branded as "BHARAT-1." The co-branded device is already available at Rs. 2,200/- and has all facilities which are required for the 4G user. BSNL has bundled a voucher worth Rs 97/- per month which provides unlimited voice and unlimited data to the consumer. This combination of BSNL and Micromax is perhaps one of the most reasonable cost-effective mobile bundling available in the market at present.
"The product has already hit the market and it is picking up quite well, Shrivastava said when asked about the response. The company is also talking to Lava for 4G feature phones and have signed one MOU with them, he further said.
Yet another aspect of the telco is that it is also geared to sign MOU with Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson this month, for 5G and IoT in India.
So far, BSNL has more than 100 million mobile customers, 10 million broadband customers, and 16 million landline customers. The telco is also providing various enterprise services like lease line, VSAT and various managed services.