The roll-out is expected to be a turning point for BSNL for its survival after the government disapproved the privatization of the company. 

IT and Union Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made the first call over an Indian 4G network of state-owned telecommunication service company, BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) on October 10, 2021. 

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw makes first call over Indian 4G network of BSNL

Vaishnaw shared in a tweet, “Made first call over Indian 4G network of BSNL (Designed and made in India).” He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat is finally taking shape. The call made by the IT minister was reportedly the first to be made on the network. He also tweeted that the 4G system that the company would use has been designed and manufactured in India. 

It is reported that the latest development in the state-run corporation invokes the roll-out of the technology by the company. 

The roll-out is expected to be a turning point for BSNL for its survival after the government disapproved the privatization of the company and the government nominees on the board of BSNL also deferred the company’s proposal to upgrade its 2G and 3G networks to 4G. 

BSNL was in talks in March 2021 to be eyeing on the execution of the roll-out of its 4G wireless services in 18 to 24 months as confirmed by Sanjay Dhotre, minister of state communication. BSNL’s stepping forward to enable local equipment corporations to bid for its 4G equipment was expected to open doors for domestic participants which would further cut down India’s dependence on foreign establishments. The government had brought into notice in January 2021, that only companies based in India are eligible to raise bids for BSNL’s 4G core network. 

BSNL was in highlights in mid-September 2021 for its 4G network deployment by a reputed candidate Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The opponent contenders including Tech Mahindra, HFCL, etc. assumed the trials with Pertsol to be a failure. However, it was assured by the government-supported R&D Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and Tejas Networks that there would be a better trial run for deploying BSNL 4G network. 

BSNL has also received government support including the allotment of Rs. 24,084 crore for spectrum for 4G services. 

The latest update is in line with BSNL’s recent offering of free 4G SIM till December 31. The company launched its pre-planned scheme of providing free 4G SIM for users who wish to get a first recharge coupon above Rs. 100. The BSNL 4G SIM card, which was sold to users at R. 20 is now available free of cost. The company is also enabling the free access to buy 4G SIM cards to the users who would port their SIM in BSNL from other networks. The scheme was introduced in April 2021 but finally launched in October 2021. 

New Delhi-based telecommunication service provider is struggling with its sustainability in the market. It has been asked to come up with best plans in the current market, however, the lack of 4G offerings has bottlenecked the corporation behind.