BSNL launches indigenous 4G site in Kolkata: Report – RCR Wireless News

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BSNL has been conducting trials in Punjab to test the capability of the Indian-developed 4G technology

Indian state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched an indigenous 4G site in Kolkata, according to local press reports.

The report stated that the telco aims to offers 4G services across all the West Bengal state in the coming months. Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal and is the primary financial and commercial center of eastern and northeastern India.

The state-run telecom operator has been conducting trials in Punjab to test the capability of the Indian-developed 4G technology. The telco initially launched 4G services in the North Indian regions of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh, using indigenous network technology developed in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and the government’s Center for Development of Telematics (C-DOT). The state-run telco has received 4G and 5G frequencies from the government as a part of a relief package.

BSNL recently reported it has reached 800,000 4G subscribers in its launch phase across these initial regions. The telco highlighted that its initial 3,500 sites offer 4G services on both a commercial and trial basis.

A BSNL executive recently noted that full commercial services could be launched once the telco’s 4G network reached 20,000 active base stations at a national level. BSNL previously said it expects to provide 4G services nationwide through the deployment of 100,000 base stations.

BSNL is targeting a 20% market share of the country’s overall mobile market by the end of 2024 by accelerating the rollout of its 4G network, according to recent press reports. Over the last several years, BSNL has lost market share to rival telcos Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel due to the lack of extended 4G coverage across the country.

BSNL’s workers union had recently urged the government to use rival operator Vodafone Idea’s network to initially offer 4G service in the country. The government of India is Vodafone Idea Limited’s largest shareholder, with a 33.1% stake. U.K.’s Vodafone and India’s Aditya Birla Group jointly own 50.4% of Vodafone Idea.

According to the reports, the potential use of Vodafone Idea’s 4G network will only be a temporary measure until BSNL’s 4G network is commercially available.

Recent reports also highlighted that the state-run operator aims to launch 5G services within the next 12 months. Reliance Jio Infocomm has already completed the rollout of 5G technology in India. The carrier has been rapidly expanding its 5G network using Standalone (SA) architecture since October 2022. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel previously said it was on track to cover the entire country with 5G technology by March 2024.

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