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Business News/ News / India/  Cabinet approves revival package of 89,047 crore for BSNL

The Cabinet has approved a revival package of 89,047 crore for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).  The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved the third revival package for BSNL with the total outlay of Rs. 89,047 crore. It includes allotment of 4G/5G spectrum for BSNL through equity infusion.

BSNL, struggling with poor infrastructure, has been battered by intense competition from Jio, the wireless arm of Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea which have rolled out 4G services at low prices on voice calls and data.

Shares of state-owned telecom firm Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd surged nearly 12% after the news on rival package for BSNL.

It was earlier reported that the government was contemplating the closure of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), a debt-ridden telecommunications company. As a result, there are plans to transfer the staff and operations of MTNL to BSNL, abandoning the previous proposal of merging the two state-owned telecom companies.

The decision to consider closure stems from the fact that MTNL has been facing continuous losses and is burdened with a substantial amount of debt. 

BSNL earlier awarded a significant advance purchase order (APO) valued at an impressive 3,889 crore to ITI, a central public sector undertaking, for the deployment of its 4G network. Under the terms of the agreement, ITI will be responsible for manufacturing the Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment.

The APO issued by BSNL pertains to the Reservation Quota (RQ) Order specifically in the West Zone. This development signifies a major step forward in BSNL's efforts to enhance its network infrastructure and provide advanced 4G services to its customers.

Residents in border states who have been struggling with limited mobile and data connectivity found solace as BSNL initiated the installation of 20,000 4G towers. As part of the government's 4G saturation plan, BSNL has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring connectivity in remote areas.

BSNL, as per an earlier report, has already commenced the implementation of the project. The objective is to provide 4G coverage to approximately 25,000 villages, many of which currently lack any form of connectivity. 

(With Reuters inputs)

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 07 Jun 2023, 02:20 PM IST
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