Nagpur: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is all set to roll out 4G services in Nagpur district by the year end. Groundwork for the services is going on at a fast pace to herald a new digital era for citizens of the district, said Yash Panhekar, General Manager, Business Area, Nagpur.
He was addressing a press conference held at BSNL office, on Thursday. “Total 150 new Base Transceiver System (BTS) are being added to the network of existing 35 that are being upgraded. Hopefully, within the next few months, our customers can feel the difference. Since BSNL is identified as a strategic public sector undertaking (PSU), the equipment being used are all Made in India as national interest is paramount,” he added.
Through 4G, the BSNL will also connect 80 villages in the district as part of the Central Government’s plan to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural masses. On emerging competition from private operators who are on overdrive mode to introduce 5G network, Panhekar said, not that BSNL cannot provide the same service but the issue is of spectrum. The current equipment being erected for 4G is capable of radiating 5G services and may be in future the same could happen. But as of date, BSNL is banking on 4G and apart from that at Nagpur BA other major revenue stream is rental from its vast immovable asset that is accruing Rs 7 lakh.
BSNL foresees an annual 50 per cent increase in revenue. Apart from the 80 panchayats identified for introduction of 4G services, Panhekar said, they conducted a survey and identified 70 other small patches where a need for high speed data connectivity was felt. Citing an example of Kunwara Bhivsen, a popular spiritual place in Parseoni tehsil, that is frequented by number of citizens, Panhekar said, since they are not proper Gram Panchayat but since it is a popular tourist spot, the 4G range there would prove beneficial. The proposal of Nagpur BA was accepted by Circle Headquarters, he added.
Admitting that there has been migration from BSNL to its competitors, Panhekar, however, pointed out the spectacular growth in the FTTH sector where connections have risen from 1,500 to 15,000. The entry of private vendors and trimming of PSU’s work force enabled faster rollout of premium service. About 48 optical line termination (OLT ) clients are added in 2021-22 through channel partners in BA Nagpur and all Tehsils are feasible for optical fibre high speed internet service, he informed.