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BSNL on track to deploy 5G by 15 August 2023 deadline set by Govt: Chairman
State-run telecom company BSNL will start rolling out a 4G network from November and gradually upgrade it to 5G by August next year, a top company official said on Monday.
The company plans to commission nearly 1.25 lakh within 18 months, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director, P.K. Purwar told PTI at the India Mobile Congress.
“The first rollout (of the planned 4G network) should happen in November,” Mr Purwar said.
The company is in talks with TCS’s chief IT department and the state-run telecommunications research and development organization led by the C-DOT consortium to deploy domestic 4G technology in the network.
Mr Purwar said the 4G network equipment the company is buying will be upgradeable to 5G through software updates.
When asked about the timeline of BSNL’s plans to roll out 5G services, Mr. Purwar said the company is on track to deploy 5G by the August 15, 2023 deadline set by Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
“The minister has given us a clear path that August 15, 2023 should be the date when BSNL should be in the 5G domain. We are working towards that direction which we have received. We should be able to meet it (the target timeline), Mr Purwar said.
Talking about revenue dynamics, all telecom operators should focus on digital inclusiveness and connect the unconnected with digital technologies.
“The network should be invested in so that everyone gets good service and the deployment should be faster. If the operators don’t have enough resources, they won’t be able to invest in the network. If there is no investment in network technology, many people will not be able to take advantage of the newer technologies.” said Mr. Purwar.
He also said that India has one of the lowest Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and it needs to be seen if it is sustainable.
“Telecom operators are well positioned to generate revenue from other sources as well, but we also have to look at the fact that India has the lowest ARPU in the world. Can we sustain this level of ARPU and derive new investment? out these things,” remarked Mr. Purwar.