BSNL to invest US$1.6bn in telecom projects in 2018-19

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd plans to invest more than US$660 million in upgrading and expanding its network, while up to US$925 million will be invested in a variety of government telecom projects

March 26, 2018

BSNL is the largest provider of landline telephony and broadband services in India with over 60 per cent market share; The company is the fifth largest mobile telephony provider in India

The network expansion will mainly be focussed on augmenting mobile services, upgrading broadband connections and strengthening the the company's core technology and infrastructure

BSNL’s projects include Bharat Net that is aiming internet connectivity across rural India, spectrum infrastructure and telecoms projects in Northeast India as well as the Andaman island

These projects will bring a record number of new subscribers to telecoms network, in line with the Government’s aim to improve socio-economic conditions with the help of technology

India’s Government-controlled telecoms operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is looking to invest a total of around US$1.6 billion in telecom projects over the financial year 2018-19. BSNL plans to invest more than US$660 million in upgrading and expanding its network, while up to US$925 million will be invested in a variety of government telecom projects, the company’s Chairman Anupam Shrivastava told the Press Trust of India. The network expansion will mainly be focussed on augmenting mobile services, upgrading broadband connections and strengthening the the company’s core technology and infrastructure. The investment will help the company better compete with private rivals in the sector.

BSNL is the largest provider of landline telephony and broadband services in India with more than 60 per cent market share. The company is the fifth largest mobile telephony provider in India. The more than US$925 million budget will go towards projects such as Bharat Net that is aiming internet connectivity across rural India, spectrum infrastructure and telecoms projects across Northeast India as well as the Andaman island through fibre optic network. BSNL is also working on internet connections to Lakshadweep Islands. These projects will bring a record number of new subscribers to telecoms network, in line with the Government’s aim to improve socio-economic conditions with the help of technology.

Expanded connectivity will aid the provision of tele-medicine, tele-education and skill development, among other essential services to the remotest parts of India. To help with this initiative, Mr Shrivastava said that BSNL is looking to set up 12,000 3G towers and 10,000 4G towers across the country. Over the next five years, rise in mobile-phone penetration and steady decline in data costs will add 500 million new internet users in India. This expansion is crucial as India is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications market with a subscriber base of 1.1 billion and growing. As a result of this fast-paced growth, India’s mobile industry is expected to generate income of US$216 billion by the 2020.

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