State run telecom major and PAN India 3G service provider, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is all set to commercially deploy its Ultra Fast 4G LTE Services in 14 telecom circles where it holds 20MHz of BWA spectrum in 2500MHz band.
As we reported earlier, the PSU already launched 4G LTE Services in Chandigarh on non-commercial basis where customers were also allowed to experience BSNL 4G Services. As per the latest media reports, BSNL will be installing 4G towers on the existing GSM sites so that the roll-out process will be much faster.
BSNL is exploring two models for the 4G roll-out in 14 telecom circles - revenue sharing model and capex model. BSNL had paid Rs 8,313.80 crore for 2,500 MHz spectrum in all its service areas but later returned airwaves in six of them which include Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata.
A Senior BSNL Official said - "The device ecosystem for 2500 MHz band is already evolved and sufficient number of 4G handsets makers like Apple, Motorola, Lenovo, Google, Nokia are already available in the market. By considering all the facts, it appears that launch of 4G services in 2,500 Mhz band is feasible and commercially remunerative."
However, the PSU is yet to finalise a timeline for the commercial launch of its 4G LTE Services. In revenue share model, BSNL will be extending passive infrastructure and its BWA spectrum and other elements like BTS will be arranged by the vendor or franchisee. This model is best suited as BSNL will not incur expenditure and much of the investment required will be borne by the vendor. This can be initiated in all 14 service areas. 4G customers will be owned by BSNL and billing will be done by BSNL.
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On the capex model, procurement of LTE elements can be initiated in some select cities of one circle on experimental basis. However, this model involves procurement cost and also integration cost. The company will explore both the methods before taking a final call on the roll-out.
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