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BSNL plans to install 1.12 lakh towers across India ahead of 4G rollout

Last week, the government approved to administratively allot spectrum to BSNL and MTNL for providing 5G services on the same principles as followed for 4G. (Mint)Premium
Last week, the government approved to administratively allot spectrum to BSNL and MTNL for providing 5G services on the same principles as followed for 4G. (Mint)

  • The Telecom minister informed that BSNL is in the process of ordering 6,000 towers immediately, with another 6,000 towers later and finally taking the total to more than 1 lakh towers. The company plans to install these towers across the country for the 4G network.

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Government-owned BSNL intends to install about 1.12 lakh towers across the country ahead of the indigenous 4G telecom network rollout throughout India. Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Lok Sabha about the development on Wednesday.

During question hour, Vaishnaw said, "I am happy to inform you that the 4G telecom network is ready for roll out soon and it is developed in India by Indian engineers and scientists. Our development of 4G network is being appreciated worldwide and it has a core network, radio network with full telecom equipment," reported by PTI.

The Telecom minister informed that BSNL is in the process of ordering 6,000 towers immediately, with another 6,000 towers later and finally taking the total to more than 1 lakh towers. The company plans to install these towers across the country for the 4G network.

The minister also spoke about the development of 5G technology in the report, by adding, "is going on in parallel and will be ready in a few months."

When asked about the availability of 4G internet service in trains, Vaishnaw said that the internet connection inside trains will only be available when the 5G network will be rolled out. He explained that communications get disrupted with 4G technology in trains running at the speed of 100 km per hour.

Furthermore, the minister stated that the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) fiberise their Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) installed on mobile towers. As of February 1, 2022, about 7,93,551 BTSs have been connected by optical fibre in the country.

The minister pointed out that BTS used to provide mobile communications belonging to the TSPs. That said, the decisions to connect them through fibre or other means including microwave are taken by TSPs which is based on various techno-commercial considerations including network capacity required at that particular location.

However, the minister informed the lower house in the Parliament that the major obstacle to fiberisation of Telecom Towers, as per TSPs, are high charges, complex processes, and delays in bagging Right of Way (ROW) permissions on the back of non-alignment of ROW Policy of States with Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016 notified by the central government.

Last week, the government approved to administratively allot spectrum to BSNL and MTNL for providing 5G services on the same principles as followed for 4G. BSNL and MTNL would rollout 4G and 5G services based on techno-commercial considerations. This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on April 1.

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