BSNL to launch 4G services soon
2 months ago Mihir Kulkarni 0
“BSNL is launching 4G mobile services shortly,” Shrivastava said, to which he added “during the financial year 17-18 BSNL will introduce VoLTE,” reports Ultra News. There has been news about the company’s 4G services with many reports pointing towards a year-end launch. But this is the first time we are hearing about these services from the company itself.
BSNL has been ramping up its efforts to become at par with its competitors in India. Although it has a wide reach, it still lags behind the private competitors because it still provides only 3G and 2G services while its competitors have moved on to provide 4G services.
Reliance Jio’s blockbuster entry changed the nature of Indian telecom market upside down. Now with other private telecom companies providing cheap data to compete with Jio, BSNL wants to make sure that its 4G plans are competitive. “We’re already matching tariff by tariff, plan by plan,” Shrivastava said.
If BSNL manages to roll out VoLTE services before its competitors, it will become the second telecom company after Jio to provide this service. It faces tough competition from Airtel and Vodafone who are planning to introduce 4G VoLTE services by September.
VoLTE refers to Voice over LTE. This essentially means that calls are carried over wireless LTE network offering better clarity to users and low operating costs to the service provider. A phone enabled with VoLTE can handle calls and internet usage simultaneously.
BSNL will be launching its 4G service on 20MHz of the spectrum and will use band 41 of the LTE spectrum. The only problem with this is that most of the Indian phones do not support this bandwidth. So the consumers would be forced to buy new handsets and dongles if they wish to use this service.
The major hurdle the state owned company faces is the unavailability of 4G spectrum in key states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata.
BSNL is now in talks with telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm for sharing its unused fiber optic cables as part of its efforts to double its revenue by network sharing to 3000 crore rupees in 2017-2018. It is also hopeful to get its hands on more airwaves after this year’s spectrum auctions conclude this October.