MUMBAI: While all major telecom operators have already gained highly from 4G roll-out, state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL have been left behind in the race due to impending 4G spectrum. Survival of both the companies highly depends on 4G services roll-out. However, according to a PTI report, department of telecom (DoT) is planning to seek the Cabinet's approval in the next two months for the allocation of 4G spectrum to these two firms.
As per a source quoted by news agency, draft Cabinet note is expected to be ready in mid-October after which it will be floated for inter-ministerial consultation. Following the move, DoT(http://www.indiantelevision.com/iworld/telecom/cabinet-approves-new-telecom-policy-180926) will approach the Cabinet with a revised draft note in November.
MTNL provides service in two metros Delhi and Mumbai as BSNL operates all over India except in these two cities.
A detailed project report has already been submitted by BSNL to the government seeking spectrum for 4G services in lieu of equity. Earlier communication minister Manoj Sinha informed Parliament BSNL sought Rs 6,652 crore as equity infusion from the government to fund its spectrum purchase worth about Rs 13,885 crore.
The corporation is seeking spectrum in the 2100 MHz band for all circles, except Rajasthan. For that particular state, BSNL(http://www.indiantelevision.com/iworld/telecom/bsnl-ties-up-with-softbank-ntt-for-5g-iot-deal-180924) is looking for spectrum in the 800 MHz band.
MTNL chairman and managing director P K Purwar requested the government to grant it 4G spectrum in lieu of equity worth around Rs 6,500-7,000 crore and extend its mobile license which is expiring till 2021.
"I fully agree that survival of BSNL and MTNL without 4G spectrum is tough. There are some decisions of the apex court. We have made a strategy to settle them. I will try by end of this year, it should not be in 2019 but in 2018, the government should decide on the allocation of 4G spectrum," Sinha said earlier.