BSNL expects mobile licence to be renewed before calendar year-end

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on December 06, 2020 Published on December 06, 2020

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) long-month wait for licence renewal and reallocation of spectrum might be finally coming to an end with the government expected to grant the Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) by December end.

Following the issuance of the licence, which expired in February this year and is yet to be renewed, BSNL will be able to provide 2G, 3G and 4G services. The public sector unit has been using 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum and is seeking the same bands across all its 20 circles.

“BSNL has to submit a Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) of ₹250 crore for the UASL, which is almost ready. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will issue the licence within a week of submitting the PBG, in case there are no fresh queries or clarifications from the licencor,” a source close to the development told BusinessLine.

“Even if there is a delay of a week or so in submitting the PBG, the renewal of licence would happen before December 31,” the source added.

BSNL officials are slated to meet Home Minister Amit Shah next week to apprise him of the importance of 4G in the revival of the beleaguered telecom company. This follows the meeting BSNL executives had with Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on November 27.

Amit Shah is the head of a seven-member Group of Ministers constituted to fast-track and oversee the implementation of revival plans of both BSNL and MTNL.

The PSU had earlier submitted various proposals for its revival, and sought permission from the Government to upgrade existing equipment to support 4G services.

FTTH User base

Riding on an increase in demand for home broadband, BSNL’s total Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) subscriber base crossed 1 million in November, as the operator continues to provide nearly 85,000 new connections every month.

BSNL provided nearly 89,000-90,000 connections in certain circles in November, and expects this to rise to 1 lakh per month on rising demand.

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Published on December 06, 2020
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