Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is planning to launch its 4G services in India, while the country’s private telcos are a step ahead and already conducting 5G trials. BSNL is preparing to roll out 4G within the next 18 to 24 months.
In an interview with ETTelecom, TCS Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Executive Director N Ganapathy Subramaniam stated that the company has joined hands with BSNL to deploy 4G services. Subramaniam said, “We are pleased that the indigenous telecom stack is integrated in BSNL’s live network through this PoC. Within the timelines of PoC, the ecosystem of partners in India have been able to deliver advanced features like 40W radios.”
The TCS COO added that they have already conducted multiple rounds of testing, including integration to BSNL’s existing networks. “We are gearing ourselves to commercially deploy it at scale for BSNL and we are in discussions with BSNL on all aspects including planning, technical and commercial aspects,” Subramaniam added.
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TCS has been working with BSNL to ascertain the overall scope of the project. The COO added that both parties are eager to launch the service as soon as possible. However, it is contingent on the availability of components and chips. The TCS chief expects to launch 4G between 18 and 24 months.
Subramaniam also touched upon the timeline of a possible 5G launch, stating, “The 5G NSA (non-standalone) core and the radios in the likely bands are ready and are undergoing final tests in the labs. We are geared to start equipment supply and deployment thereof much before the end of this year.” However, the COO did not specify the exact timeline for the 5G rollout.
As BSNL prepares to deploy 4G within the next two years, private telcos are already getting ready for the 5G spectrum auction. Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea are reportedly planning to purchase spectrum worth ₹71,000 crore in India’s 5G auction.