BSNL gets ₹89,047-crore package for 4G, 5G roll-out

Cabinet approves allotment of 4G, 5G spectrum to the state-owned operator with equity infusion

June 07, 2023 05:15 pm | Updated June 08, 2023 08:44 am IST - New Delhi


File. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a third revival package for BSNL. The state-owned operator will receive, via equity infusion, spectrum in the 700MHz band, the 3,300MHz band, the 26GHz band, and the 2,500MHz band, the Cabinet announced. 

“With this spectrum allotment, BSNL will be able to provide pan India 4G and 5G services; provide 4G coverage in rural and uncovered villages under various connectivity projects; provide Fixed Wireless Access [FWA] services for high-speed Internet; and provide services/spectrum for Captive Non-Public Network [CNPN],” the government said in a release. 

Also read | Reviving BSNL in a competitive telecom market

The infusion, which would allow the rollout of BSNL’s 4G network (and eventually a 5G network) to proceed throughout the country at a faster pace, has a total outlay of ₹89,047 crore. “After a few months of field deployment [of 4G and 5G networks], it will be rapidly rolled out across the country on BSNL network,” the government said. 

Operating profits

The first two revival packages in 2019 and 2022 were of ₹69,000 crore and ₹1.64 lakh crore respectively, and allowed the embattled state-owned operator to start booking operating profits and pay off its Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues. 

Also read: Data | How BSNL bled: The story behind public telecom giant’s fall in 6 charts

The revival also takes importance in the light of the precarious condition of one of the three telecom operators, Vodafone Idea Ltd. If the firm were to collapse, BSNL may be the last check in the market on a duopoly in wireless telecommunications. The government is also trying to finish merging BSNL with MTNL, the other state-owned operator that is functional in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.