Government Approves Rs. 89,047 Crore Revival Package for BSNL to Boost Connectivity

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Government Approves Rs. 89,047 Crore Revival Package for BSNL to Boost Connectivity

The Union Cabinet has approved a Rs. 89,047 crore revival package for BSNL, focusing on enhancing connectivity and expanding telecom services in India. The package includes increased authorized capital and allotment of 4G and 5G spectrum. BSNL is set to become a key player in the telecom industry.

The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its nod to the third revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). This significant move includes a total outlay of Rs. 89,047 crore and aims to strengthen BSNL’s position as a stable telecom service provider focused on improving connectivity across India.

Increasing Authorized Capital and Spectrum Allotment

Under this revival package, the authorized capital of BSNL will be raised from Rs. 1,50,000 crore to Rs. 2,10,000 crore. This increase in capital will provide BSNL with the necessary resources to expand and enhance its services.

One of the key highlights of the package is the allotment of 4G and 5G spectrum to BSNL through equity infusion. This strategic allocation will enable BSNL to offer nationwide 4G and 5G services, ensuring that even the remotest parts of India have access to high-speed internet connectivity. Additionally, BSNL will extend 4G coverage to rural and uncovered villages through various connectivity projects. The spectrum allotment also includes provisions for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services, facilitating high-speed internet, and Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN) services.

Previous Revival Packages

The government has previously approved two revival packages for BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). The first package, sanctioned in 2019, amounted to Rs. 69,000 crore and played a crucial role in stabilizing the financial conditions of both BSNL and MTNL.

In 2022, the government granted a second revival package worth Rs. 1.64 lakh crore for BSNL and MTNL. This comprehensive package provided financial support for capital expenditure, viability gap funding for rural landlines, de-stressing the balance sheet, settlement of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues, and the merger of Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) with BSNL. These measures led to BSNL achieving operating profits since the financial year 2021-22, along with a significant reduction in its total debt from Rs. 32,944 crore to Rs. 22,289 crore.

Revival Package Details
Authorized CapitalRs. 1,50,000 crore increased to Rs. 2,10,000 crore
Spectrum Allotment4G and 5G spectrum allocation through equity infusion
Includes provisions for FWA and CNPN services
Previous Revival Packages
First Package (2019)Rs. 69,000 crore
Second Package (2022)Rs. 1.64 lakh crore
Latest Revival Package
Total OutlayRs. 89,047 crore
FocusEnhancing connectivity and expanding telecom services
Spectrum AllocationPremium wireless frequencies across various bands
Includes 700 MHz, 3300 MHz, 26 GHz, and 2500 MHz bands
BSNL’s Path to Growth
CoverageNationwide 4G and 5G services, including rural and uncovered areas
Home Fiber ServicesTotal subscriber base of 30.88 lakh (May 2023)
Revenue from Home FiberRs. 2,071 crore (last year)
Indigenous 4G/5G TechnologyDeveloped in alignment with Atmanirbhar vision
Field deployment and testing in progress
Revival Packages

The Latest Revival Package – Enhancing Connectivity

The recently approved third revival package of Rs. 89,047 crore focuses on enhancing BSNL’s connectivity offerings. With the infusion of funds, BSNL will be able to expand its infrastructure and services, thereby providing better connectivity to the masses.

The package includes the allocation of premium wireless frequencies across various spectrum bands. These include 10 MHz of paired spectrum in the 700 MHz band (worth Rs. 46,338.6 crore), 70 MHz in the 3300 MHz band (worth Rs. 26,184.2 crore), 800 MHz in the 26 GHz band and 650 MHz in the 26 GHz band (worth Rs. 6,564.93 crore), and 20 MHz in six LSAs and 10 MHz in two LSAs of the 2500 MHz band (worth Rs. 9,428.2 crore). Additionally, there is an allocation of Rs. 531.89 crore for miscellaneous items.

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BSNL’s Path to Growth

The additional spectrum allotment will empower BSNL to roll out nationwide 4G and 5G services, ensuring high-speed internet connectivity for all. The coverage will extend to rural and uncovered areas, thanks to various connectivity projects undertaken by BSNL. Furthermore, the provision of FWA services will cater to the demand for reliable and fast internet connections.

BSNL has made significant progress in the home fiber segment, witnessing strong growth. It currently adds over 1 lakh new connections each month, with a total subscriber base of 30.88 lakh as of May 2023. The revenue generated from home fiber services last year amounted to Rs. 2,071 crore.

Indigenous 4G/5G Technology

In alignment with the Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has successfully developed its own 4G/5G technology stack. This strategic move ensures that the country is not dependent on limited end-to-end technology providers worldwide. Following field deployment and testing, this indigenous technology will be rolled out extensively across the country on the BSNL network, further strengthening its infrastructure and service offerings.

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Conclusion

The government’s approval of the Rs. 89,047 crore revival package for BSNL marks a significant step toward enhancing connectivity and expanding telecom services across India. With increased authorized capital and the allotment of 4G and 5G spectrum, BSNL is well-positioned to emerge as a stable telecom service provider, catering to the needs of the remotest areas of the country. The revival packages introduced over the years have already brought stability and profitability to BSNL, making it a key player in India’s telecom landscape.

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