India’s BSNL confirms nationwide 4G rollout for August

India’s BSNL confirms nationwide 4G rollout for August

State-owned Indian service provider BSNL has confirmed plans to start rolling out 4G services across the country from August.

As has been highlighted a number of times by BSNL, the company’s planned rollout will use completely indigenous technology. This is in line with the government's Atmanirbhar policy (Atmanirbhar Bharat means 'self-reliant India').

India’s Economic Times news service cites BSNL officials who are claiming to have recorded peak speeds of 40-45 megabits per second on the 4G network which has been rolled out in the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands during the pilot phase.

As this statement, implies some 4G rollout activity has already taken place. In fact 4G services have been rolled out in Punjab, a state in north-western India, using technology indigenously developed by a consortium including IT company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and state-run telecom research organisation C-DoT. Some 800,000 subscribers have apparently so far been signed up.

The 4G core developed by C-DoT was installed in Punjab in July last year and is said to be performing well. The next stage will be the August launch, though it’s not clear how long that will take.

TCS, optical, broadband and data networking products company Tejas Networks and government-owned  telecommunications technology  company ITI have apparently won big orders worth from BSNL for deploying the 4G network, which will be upgradable to 5G. BSNL is said to be in the process of deploying 112,000 towers for 4G and 5G services across India.

Of course, this still puts BSNL well behind the three main private operators, all of which have 4G networks in place, while two – Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel – are already establishing themselves as 5G service providers.

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