BSNL 4G Launch, List of Available Telecom Circles, 4G Data Plans and More

BSNL 4G Launch
Image: Chandigarh Metro

BSNL is all set to roll out the 4G services next year after receiving the spectrum from DoT. This comes on the back of the revival package approved by the government of India for the merger of ailing entities BSNL and MTNL. The DoT would allocate the 4G spectrum to BSNL from April 1, 2020, and the state-run telecom would be extending the services across the country within 19 months. BSNLhas its operational presence in 20 telecom circles across the country, and the introduction of 4G services is a welcome move from the operator. 

BSNL 4G Spectrum Allocation to Commence from April 1

Reliance Jio has created ripples in the telecom space ever since its introduction to the Indian market. Its aggressive prepaid plans, coupled with cheap data offerings, has led to the disappearance of some of the players. It led to a consolidation in the telecom sector, and as of now, there are only three telecom operators in the country that include Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL. Even without 4G services, the state-run telecom had succeeded in adding new subscribers barring intense rivalry from Reliance Jio. The non-allocation of the 4G spectrum seems to be the main reason for BSNL’s non-introduction of 4G services. Now, that the government approved the allocation of 4G spectrum, BSNL is set to launch 4G services across the country. The spectrum allocation commences from April 1, and it takes BSNL around 19 months for a complete roll-out of 4G services across India.

List of Available Telecom Circles with BSNL 4G Services

BSNL has launched the 4G services in select parts of India using its existing 3G spectrum. Among the states with available 4G services, Kerala is the biggest telecom circle of BSNL and has over 15 million users. BSNL has been offering 4G services in Kerala since 2017. Besides this, the government led telco has launched 4G services in major parts of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Chennai & Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Kolkata. To avail the 4G service, customers need to get the 4G SIM card from the nearest support centre.

BSNL has two 4G Plans offering 10GB of data per day

As of now, the BSNL is offering two 4G plans in areas featuring its 4G services. Both the 4G plans do offer 10GB daily data benefits per day. The first plan Rs 96 offers 10GB 4G data and comes with a validity of 28 days. The second higher plan Rs 236 also offer 10GB daily 4G data but comes with a higher validity of 84 days.

Update: BSNL 4G Expansion Plans Plagued by Deployment Issues Raised by TEPC

BSNL 4G expansion plans hit a roadblock yet again due to the deployment issues raised by the TEPC (Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council). BSNL has been lagging way behind the leading telecom operators such as Airtel and Reliance Jio due to the absence of a reliable 4G network. BSNL recently rolled out a 9000 crore tender to procure the 4G equipment for its expansion. Although the contracts were comprehensive and included all the details, they seem to ignore “Make in India” as pointed out by TEPC. The state-run telecom included strict policies in the tender such as eligible companies should have the experience of setting up a network for at least 20 million subscriber base. As a result, domestic manufacturers could not participate in the tender. It is not new for BSNL as the telco has faced similar challenges in the past. It remains to be seen how the telecom operator would rectify the deployment issues raised by TEPC.