BSNL to launch 4G mobile service in Aug, to get upgraded to 5G

The government owned telecom company is in the process of installing 1.12 lakh towers for 4G and 5G across the country for launching the service on a completely indigenous technology

BSNL 5G service

New Delhi: The state-owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), is likely to launch its 4G service across the country by August this year. The service will be completely based on indigenous technology, said a senior BSNL officer.

This indigenous technology has been developed jointly by a consortium consisting of IT company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and telecom technology centre of the Central government, Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT). Using this, BSNL has started 4G service in Punjab in July last year and has added about 8 lakh customers.

BSNL installing 1.12 lakh 4G towers

BSNL is in the process of installing 1.12 lakh towers for 4G and 5G services across India. The company has installed more than 9,000 towers for 4G service across the country. Of these, more than 6,000 towers are in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana circles.

Also Read: L&T ties up with BSNL to launch 5G service for enterprise use

As per the officials’ claim, BSNL network offered a maximum speed of 40-45 megabits per second on the 4G network, which was launched during the pilot phase in the premium spectrum band of 700 megahertz (Mhz) as well as in the 2,100 MHz band. According to the report, C-DOT’s 4G technology core is performing very well in BSNL network in Punjab. ‘It takes 12 months to prove the success of such a complex technology, but C-DOT has been stabilized in just 10 months.

4G tech will be upgraded to 5G

Core network is a group that includes network hardware, devices and software related to telecom service. This group helps in fundamental services in telecom network like aggregation, call control, switching, authentication, charging, gateway functionality etc.

In August 2023, Tejas Networks won a contract worth $900 million from TCS to supply 4G/5G radio access network (RAN) equipment for BSNL’s pan-India network development project. The contract is for approximately 100,000 sites and will be executed in 2024. This network can be upgraded to 5G later.

Also Read: DoT offers 5G test bed to startups, MSME free of cost

An official said that ‘BSNL has been selling only 4G-enabled SIMs for the last 4-5 years. In such a situation, only those customers will have to remove the old SIM and get a new SIM to experience 4G service.

BSNL far behind Airtel and Jio

PM Narendra Modi had launched the roadmap of 6G network. 6G service is expected to start in India by 2030. BSNL is lagging far behind in this matter. The company is preparing to launch 5G service along with 4G. In January-2023, Union IT and telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnav had said that BSNL will start its 5G service by April 2024. At the same time, Airtel and Jio launched 5G service in India in October-2022.

Also Read: India’s own 5G technology – 5Gi

BSNL was once the number No. 1 operator

Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee started BSNL mobile service from Lucknow on 19 October 2002. Within just 1-2 years of its launch, it had become India’s number one mobile service. Private operators had started mobile services months before BSNL’s launch, but demand for BSNL’s ‘CeloOne’ brand had increased significantly.

Consumers had to pay for receiving calls

When BSNL’s services were started, private operators used to charge Rs 16 per minute for calls and Rs 8 per minute for incoming calls. BSNL made incoming calls free and the price of outgoing calls went up to one and a half rupees. This time of 2002-2005 was the golden era of BSNL. Everyone wanted BSNL SIM. For this there were 3-7 kilometer long lines.

Also Read: Jio launches 5G in 16 cities of Bihar, Jharkhand & 6 other states

116 crore mobile subscribers in the country

According to the February 2024 data of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the body that keeps the accounts of telecom companies in India, there was an increase of 39,30,625 mobile subscribers across the country in February as compared to January 2024. While there were 116.07 crore mobile subscribers across the country in January, their number increased to 116.46 crore in February.

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