BSNL to use BWA spectrum to launch 4G in 14 circles

BSNL

State-owned BSNL is planning to enter the 4G market in 14 telecom circles utilizing its 20 MHz liberalized broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum or 2,500 MHz band.

BSNL, a mobile operator owned by the India government, will be competing with 4G LTE network operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Reliance Jio Infocomm.

The company, which has already soft launched 4G services in Chandigarh, is exploring two methods — revenue sharing model and capex model — for the 4G rollout. The company has 20 MHz liberalised spectrum in 2,500 MHz band which allows it to rollout 4G services without any licensing hurdles.

A senior official said BSNL will be installing 4G base tower stations (BTS) in the existing GSM sites, which means there will be no additional expenditure on towers.

Regarding the device ecosystem for 2,500 MHz band, the official said sufficient number of 4G handsets makers like Apple, Motorola, Lenovo, Google, Nokia are already available in the market.

“By considering all the facts, it appears that launch of 4G services in 2,500 Mhz band is feasible and commercially remunerative,” he added. However, the company is yet to finalise a timeline for the launch.