Bharti Airtel was the first telecom operator to launch the high-speed 4G network in India, and it was followed by Vodafone, Idea, and Reliance Jio. It’s been close to three-years since we have 4G LTE connectivity in India, but users of state-run MTNL and BSNL have been stuck on 3G network. Earlier this year in February, BSNL started testing 4G services in Kerala, and now, it seems like the telecom operator is all set for a nationwide rollout.
Ahead of the rollout, BSNL has started selling 4G-enabled USIMs to subscribers across India. Both, prepaid and postpaid users across India can pay a nominal fee of Rs 20, and upgrade to a 4G SIM card. It is important to note that existing users won’t be able to access 4G network using their old 2G/3G SIM card, and an upgrade is a must.
As of now, BSNL has not launched 4G services in India, and they have an ongoing battle with the government to allot 4G spectrum. In Kerala, BSNL launched 4G services using the existing 3G spectrum, but they have commissioned the first 4G tower in Karnataka state, TelecomTalk reports.
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After Reliance Jio entered the Indian smartphone market, it has been playing the price vs data war with incumbent telcos. BSNL has given a tough fight with attractive voice and data plans, it lags behind the competition in one department – 4G. With nationwide BSNL 4G rollout expected by the end of the year, we expect the state-run telco to give a tough fight to incumbents with its bundled voice and data plans.