- BSNL will start providing landline services in Mumbai and Delhi from March 1, as per a report.
- BSNL was going to start with the services in January 2021 but there was a delay due to technology-related issues.
- BSNL started operating the mobile network of MTNL as its outsourced agency from January 1, 2020, according to DoT.
Government-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will start providing telecom services in Mumbai and Delhi from March 1, 2021. Sources familiar with the matter told Business Standard that the telco has agreed to go ahead with the services and that there was a delay due to technology-related issues. BSNL started operating the mobile network of MTNL as its outsourced agency from January 1, 2020, DoT in a letter had noted. MTNL was to shut its special services for landline users from January 10, 2021. However, reports now highlight that the change will take place from March 1, 2021.
The department granted a unified license to the telco in December 2020 that included Delhi and Mumbai telecom service areas, making the telco eligible to offer mobile and fixed-line services in two metropolitans. The Delhi service areas include National Capital Region (NCR) such as Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad while the Mumbai service area would cover New Mumbai and Kalyan.
BSNL has been allotted an additional block of 5 MHz in the 2100 MHz band in 20 telecom circles, including Mumbai but excluding Delhi and Rajasthan. It has been allotted a 5 MHz block in the 850 MHz band in Rajasthan and a 10 MHz block in the 1800 MHz band in Delhi circle with a 20 years validity up to 2040 which was effective from February 29, 2020. 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. BSNL has started providing 4G service in Bilaspur and Korba cities of Chhattisgarh. The telco is likely to expand its 4G service to the rest of the state and eventually plans to do so all over India.
According to an Only Tech report, BSNL's 2G and 3G network signals have already emerged in the Mumbai circle, which were however patchy. The telco will also test the quality of Indian telecom equipment before letting indigenous manufacturers participate in the 4G tender to be floated by it, according to a notice by the telco.
A Financial Express report noted that 12 companies have purchased the expression of interest (EoI) document, issued by BSNL. The Indian companies include Tejas Network, ITI, Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Sterlite Technologies and HFCL. Global companies including Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE, Nokia and Mavenir Systems have also purchased the document which reportedly asserts that the core for the source code of the software has to be indigenous.