The package includes allotment of 4G/5G spectrum for the BSNL through equity infusion. The authorised capital of the company will be increased from Rs 1,50,000 crore to Rs 2,10,000 crore.
State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is soon going to invite bids from multinational brands for the most-anticipated 4G tender by November-end to roll out up to 50,000 new lines, reports said.
The BSNL, which received a fresh lease of life with the Cabinet approving its revival plan in October, will be floating a tender in November-end for 4G expansion at up to 50,000 sites, said the sources adding with the aim of starting the service by June 2020 if it receives the spectrum by December end.
“We expect 4G spectrum by the end of this year. We will float a 50,000 e-nodes capacity tender next month. Our initial goal is to be able to do 50,000 sites from this tender 30,000 by upgradation and 10,000, for which we have already placed the order,” P.K. Purwar, BSNL Chairman & Managing Director, was quoted as saying by IANS.
“In 18 months, 100,000 4G sites should be operational,” Purwar added.
BSNL the first half of 2020, BSNL is aiming to use the existing sites, which could be upgraded.
“Our target is to make 70,000-80,000 BSNL 4G sites operational in the next 15 months,” Purwar had said.
With the early 4G service roll out, BSNL is aiming to be in contention and to cover up for the delay of 2 years in 4G services vis-a-vis its rivals like Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea.
On Wednesday, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Lok Sabha that the government would revive debt-laden telecom operator BSNL Ltd and will work on making it profitable.
To trim mounting losses in BSNL, the government in October had announced a revival package that included the merger of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) with the former. Until the proposed merger, MTNL will operate as a sub sidiary of BSNL.
The revival package also included raising sovereign bonds worth a15,000 crore, monetising assets amounting to Rs 38,000 crore, and a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees.
Of the 1 lakh eligible for VRS, over 80,000 employees of BSNL have so far opted for the scheme, according to a news agency report. The effective date of voluntary retirement under the present scheme is January 31, 2020.
BSNL estimates savings of Rs 7,000 crore in wages if 70,000-80,000 employees choose the scheme.
(With input from agencies)