BSNL should retain 2G services: TEMA

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on November 22, 2020

Ravi Sharma

A Technical panel recommends BSNL phasing out 2G services in the next two years and concentrate only on 4G services.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) should procure 2G equipment from Indian manufacturers as the State-owned telecom operator has already deployed it in large numbers across the country, according to a top industry body.

BSNL should retain and provide 2G services to customers, as they constitute more than 50 per cent of its revenue. To that extent, TEMA does not subscribe to the views that BSNL should close 2G and that the company should procure only all 4G equipment, Telecom Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (TEMA) Chairman Ravi Sharma told BusinessLine.

“At least one of the private operators would continue to provide 2G services. Also, global operators are expected to provide 2G services for several more years,” he said, adding, as per a Department of Telecommunications’ notification, 2G equipment are readily available in the country.

TEMA is the oldest telecom body in the country.

Read more: Telecom is caught in an ‘inverted pricing logjam’: Ravi Sharma

2G tender for North East regions

In the last 2G tender for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas, four domestic companies had offered to supply the equipment. The order was won by VNL and HFCL, who had provided equipment for 2,000 sites and about 6,000 base transceiver stations.

Several domestic companies had also participated in another tender for North East regions.

“It is also to be noted that the two non-Chinese established telecom manufacturers are busy now lobbying for 5G, even as they are keen to supply 4G. Hence any proposal to import 2G equipment would be a misfit thought, which is also against ‘Make in India’ policy, Sharma added.

A Technical Committee, constituted by the Government, in its September 30 report, recommended that BSNL phase out 2G services in the next two years and concentrate only on 4G services.

The Empowered Technology Group (ETG), headed by Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan, would discuss BSNL’s proposed plans to roll out 4G services, including issuing a tender, next week.

Also See: Empowered Technical Group may look into BSNL’s 4G rollout next week

BSNL’s employees’ union Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association is to start agitations from December 2, seeking promotions for all employees across all cadres.

Read also: BSNL union lines up array of agitations seeking promotions for employees

Also Read: Despite 2G spectrum expiry, BSNL services unhindered

Also Read: MTNL working on monetising certain assets in Mumbai

Also Read: BSNL union seeks add-on purchase orders for 4G rollout

Published on November 22, 2020

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