State-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is reportedly in talks with Vodafone India, which was recently renamed Vi for Intra Circle Roaming (ICR) pacts. Vi, in return, would have required 10,000 kilometers of fiber connectivity. As of now, the two telcos are considering incorporating ICR plans in two circles, especially in Rajasthan. Agreements at the national level for ICR pacts will reportedly be carried out in a similar manner.
In regards to the development of 4G deployment, Empowered Technology Group (ETG) Senior Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan is expected to discuss BSNL’s plans to roll out 4G services, including the tender, sources told Business Line. . The ETG was previously scheduled to meet on November 20 and 23.
BSNL President and CEO PK Purwar, who will also attend the meeting, will seek a proof of concept (POC) on the 4G viability of the ETG. The ETG was established in India to advise the ministry on new technologies and procurement strategies with indigenous forms and methods for selected key technologies.
An internal DoT committee has noted that for BSNL’s upcoming tender for more than 50,000 4G sites, BSNL will divert its focus and spending from 2G and 3G, and will use national equipment providers to implement 4G-only core network and radio. BSNL objected to the suggestions, saying it generates 60 percent of its revenue from 2G. BSNL is looking to upgrade existing 49,300 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) to support 4G.
BSNL plans to provide its mobile and fixed services to users in Delhi and Mumbai. BSN expects to generate revenue from clients in metropolitan cities, as it could start providing services from January 1. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is currently the government provider of fixed and mobile services in Delhi and Mumbai. The fee details are unclear at this point, but the subscription and recharge plans will probably end up being the same as those charged by MTNL right now.
Earlier this month, the Communications Ministry forced all ministries, government departments and the central public sector to compulsorily use the BSNL and MTNL networks for Internet connectivity, broadband, fixed line and leased lines.