The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the third revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) with a total outlay of Rs 89,047 crore. This package aims to strengthen BSNL’s operations and competitiveness in the telecom market. The key components of the package include the allotment of 4G/5G spectrum to BSNL through equity infusion and the allocation of four spectrum bands, including the valuable 700 MHz band.
The revival package intends to boost BSNL’s capital and connectivity. The authorized capital of BSNL will be increased from Rs. 1,50,000 crore to Rs. 2,10,000 crore, providing the company with the necessary financial strength to compete with other major players in the industry. The package also enables BSNL to offer pan India 4G and 5G services, expand 4G coverage in rural and underserved areas, and provide Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services and spectrum for Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN) purposes.
This is not the first revival package for BSNL, as the government had previously approved packages in 2019 and 2022. These packages have contributed to BSNL’s improved financial performance, including reduced debt and operating profits. The merger of Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) with BSNL has further strengthened the company’s position by providing access to an extensive optical fiber network deployed across village panchayats.
Despite reporting widened losses in FY23, primarily due to provision for Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues, BSNL has received viability gap funding and shown positive signs of financial progress. The government’s continued support and strategic interventions aim to position BSNL as a leading telecom service provider in India.
The approval of the third revival package reinforces the government’s commitment to strengthen the telecom sector and ensure reliable and affordable telecommunications services across the country. BSNL’s enhanced capital base and access to advanced spectrum bands will support the rollout of high-speed and reliable 4G and 5G services, bridging the digital divide and fostering digital inclusion.
By providing Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services and expanding connectivity, BSNL aims to bring fast internet connectivity to remote areas, contributing to India’s digital transformation. The government’s support and strategic interventions will help BSNL emerge as a competitive player, catering to the evolving needs of consumers and businesses nationwide.
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