New Delhi: Now that the Centre's revival plan has promised to hand out a 4G spectrum, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), along with its subsidiary MTNL, is set to roll out 60,000 mobile sites for 4G services across India. BSNL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) said that the company will install 10,000 mobile sites for 4G service in select cities of Kerala, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and plans to activate all of them within one and half month.
"In the first phase, we have plan to roll out 60,000 mobile sites for 4G services across India in the next 12-15 months. These sites will be rolled out in cities where penetration of 4G handset is high and BSNL has good customer base," BSNL CMD PK Purwar said commenting on the newly-announced revival package.
Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said that the spectrum for 4G services will be allocated to both BSNL and MTNL within a month. "We will float tender for 4G network within two months," the BSNL CMD said.
MTNL operates only in Delhi and Mumbai, while BSNL operates in the rest of the area in the country.
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While noting that BSNL and MTNL will get relief from the fund that they will raise from sovereign guarantee bonds, Prakash said, "BSNL has the lowest debt in the industry. It can raise capital from banks to fund its capex requirement. However, it will be the decision of BSNL board on how they want to do it."
The Union Cabinet gave a nod to a revival package for BSNL and MTNL on October 23. The plan includes raising of Rs 15,000-crore sovereign bonds to meet the immediate capital requirement of both the companies, 4G spectrum allocation worth Rs 20,140 crores, Rs 29,937 crores for VRS package and Rs 3,674 crores for goods and services tax that will be levied on the allocation of radiowaves.
BSNL has been the only telecom service provider, apart from Reliance Jio, that has added mobile subscribers between October 2018 and July 2019. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), BSNL has the fastest 3G network in the country. The government has decided to merge MTNL with BSNL.