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Business News/ Industry / Telecom/  BSNL Revamp: Government mulls network upgrade, cost cuts to boost competitiveness
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BSNL Revamp: Government mulls network upgrade, cost cuts to boost competitiveness

BSNL Revamp: The Central government is considering ways to pitch BSNL against private telecom companies in India

BSNL, which offers mobile, landline and broadband services across India (except Delhi and Mumbai where MTNL operates) is mulling over ways to compete with private telecom comapniesPremium
BSNL, which offers mobile, landline and broadband services across India (except Delhi and Mumbai where MTNL operates) is mulling over ways to compete with private telecom comapnies

BSNL Revamp: In an attempt to provide an impetus to the state-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to compete effectively with private players, the government is exploring various measures, including network upgrades and employee cost rationalisation, according to a report by Economic Times.

Also Read | Is it too late to revive BSNL?

The recommended initiatives also include improving sales and distribution channels along with introducing more value-added services (VAS), sources said, as per the report. The move is expected to streamline expenses, particularly employee benefit costs, and is deemed crucial for the struggling BSNL to level the playing field with its private competitors, as emphasised by the sources in the report.

Also Read | L&T Tech, BSNL in deal for private 5G

“We have to benchmark employee expenses with other telecom operators," one of the officials said, as quoted by Economic Times.

Also Read | For bailouts to work, BSNL needs the freedom to perform

Despite slashing the workforce through voluntary retirement schemes since 2019, employee costs remain a major hurdle for BSNL. As of FY23, staff expenses account for a substantial 38.4 per cent of the company’s total revenue, according to officials, the report further added. This figure, a second official noted is significantly higher compared to private telecom operators in the country.

Also Read | BSNL pan-India 4G launch pushed to Dec,employees’’ union seeks Vi network usage

Mint earlier reported that Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s pan-India 4G service launch will get pushed to December 2024 due to delays by vendor Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) to install 4G equipment, its management told the employees’ union last week, prompting the state-run telecom operator’s workers to ask the Centre to allow the company to temporarily use rival Vodafone Idea’s 4G network.

In a letter to telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, BSNL’s employees' union asked the government to permit the use of Vodafone Idea’s 4G network on the grounds that the Centre is the largest shareholder in the debt-laden company, and the measure could help BSNL stop the exodus of customers and turn the carrier around, at a time when rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have started pan-India 5G services.

 

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Published: 27 Feb 2024, 11:34 AM IST
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