Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is planning to introduce commercial 4G services and its 5G network in non-standalone (NSA) mode on August 15, India’s Independence Day 2022. The executive director and chairman of the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), Rajkumar Upadhyay shared the information during a recent industry event. He revealed that the state-owned telecom is doing proof of concept (POC) for 4G while working on 5G, simultaneously.
Private Indian telcos have already launched their 4G network a few years ago, but BSNL was stuck as it faced financial challenges in bringing it to market. BSNL’s 4G network is now complete and the company is expected to introduce it as soon as commercial agreements are in place. However, we can expect BSNL to deploy its 5G SA connection by Q3 of 2023.
BSNL has collaborated with IT services and consulting company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to conduct field trials in Ambala and Chandigarh in North India. State-run Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) has also partnered with C-DoT on other indigenous products, like the core network.
Government-owned research organization C-DoT, along with premier academic institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology are playing an important role in developing the domestic telecom technology ecosystem. BSNL will be using the same Indian 4G technology to launch its services in 2022.
Moreover, the government is promoting the use of Indian startups to develop indigenous technologies and use cases. To reduce its dependency on international vendors, India has been trying to promote the growth of home-grown technologies and products as a part of its Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) policy.