BSNL might be the only ‘leading’ telecom operator who doesn’t offer 4G services in India. The state-run telecom operator is said to launch 4G services for a long time now. However, it didn’t happen until now. There are some rumours pointing that BSNL will likely roll out 4G services by the end of this year.
And now, a new report from Ultra news says that BSNL is very close to launching 4G services. The news was revealed by Anupam Shrivastava, the chairman and managing director of BSNL to the publication.
“BSNL is launching 4G mobile services shortly,” he said today, adding that “during the financial year 17-18 BSNL will introduce VoLTE.” He also confirmed that the operator will roll out VoLTE service as well, alongside 4G mobile services.
As said earlier, BSNL has been saying that it will launch 4G services very soon. However, with 5G commercial launch set to happen by the end of 2019, BSNL is under pressure for not even offering 4G mobile services in the country. To recall, it’s been already seven years since BSNL was allocated the 4G spectrum.
When Reliance Jio officially rolled out its services, BSNL promised that it will match the newcomer tariff by tariff, and lived up to the promise by unveiling some of the innovative plans. “We’re already matching tariff by tariff, plan by plan,” he said.
Another letdown with BSNL is the usage of spectrum for wireless services. Unlike private operators who use about 50-60 MHz of spectrum, BSNL makes use of only 10 MHz. The usage of less spectrum limits the operator in carrying more amount of data.
The report also pointed out that BSNL will possibly launch 4G services on 20 MHz spectrum, which uses Band 41 of LTE. This will raise serious questions again as the band 41 is not supported by most smartphones these days. It is also said that the 4G services will not be rolled on a pan-India basis due to the shortage of spectrum.
At present, BSNL is going neck-on-neck with almost all the private operators in the tariff plans department. It’s interesting to see whether BSNL keeps its promise and launch 4G services in the country.