- BSNL has taken over MTNLs network in Mumbai and Delhi from January 1, 2021.
- BSNL is also likely to make commercial fourth-generation or 4G services debut from the two metro cities.
- MTNL will be shutting its special services for landline users from January 10, 2021, in Mumbai and Delhi.
Government-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has taken over Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)'s network in Mumbai and Delhi from January 2021, according to a circular by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). BSNL's proposal to manage networks in twin circles on an outsourced basis was accepted by the telecom department in October 2020.
ET Telecom cited DoT's letter with the proposal that stated, "As proposed by BSNL earlier vide its letter dated October 27, 2020, and agreed by MTNL, BSNL will run the mobile network of MTNL as its outsourced agency from January 1, 2020. The necessary formalities in this regard may please be completed accordingly, the DoT in a letter dated December 31, 2020, to BSNL chairman Pravin Kumar Purwar said.
BSNL is also likely to make commercial fourth-generation or 4G services debut from the two metro cities under Purwar. BSNL's network signals have already emerged in the Mumbai circle and are currently patchy, as per Only Tech.
BSNL had last year bagged a fresh Unified License from DoT allowing it to operate in Mumbai and Delhi. BSNL has also been granted a fresh Unified License (UL) with 20 years validity which is effective from February 29, 2020, across all 22 circles including Mumbai and Delhi circles. After the grant of the new UL, all of BSNL's spectrum in these two bands has become liberalised and can be used to offer 3G or 4G services as per the operator's discretion. Until now the telco held non-liberalised spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands which it could only use for providing 2G services.
Meanwhile, MTNL will be shutting its special services for landline users from January 10, 2021 in Mumbai and Delhi which was notified in November 2020. The company's shortcodes were later in December 2020 withdrawn by DoT given the closure of special services.
The department has granted a unified license that included Delhi and Mumbai telecom service areas, making the telco eligible to offer mobile and fixed-line services in two metropolitans. Delhi service areas included National Capital Region (NCR) such as Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad while the Mumbai service area would cover New Mumbai and Kalyan.