State-run telecom operator BSNL is seeking an equity infusion of Rs 6,652 crore from the government to fund its spectrum purchase of close to Rs 13,885 crore, according to telecom minister Manoj Sinha’s statement to the Parliament.
A detailed project report (DPR) submitted by BSNL to the Department of Telecom (DoT) requests allotment of 5MHz spectrum in 2100 MHz band that is used for 3G and 4G services, in all telecom circles where it operates, except for Rajasthan.
“BSNL has sought from the DoT Rs 6,652 crore as equity infusion out of total spectrum cost of Rs 13,885 crore. BSNL will pay the balance Rs 7,233 crore of spectrum cost in ten annual installments from its internal accruals,” Sinha said in a written statement to the Rajya Sabha.
BSNL has requested for allocation of 5MHz in 800 MHz spectrum band which is used for 4G services at present. The state-run firm has plans to start 4G services this year by installing 10,000 mobile sites in all its telecom circles.
Over the past couple of years, BSNL, in addition to other incumbent telecom operators have been facing stiff competition, especially considering free data and voice services offered by the new entrant Reliance Jio. Even since becoming a paid service, Jio has been aggressively pricing its tariff offering higher data allowances while maintaining voice as a free service.
Recently, it was reported that BSNL was to launch its 4G LTE services from Kerala early this year. As it looks to take on existing competition, it also looks to launching 4G LTE services in other telecom circles in the country.
With inputs from PTI.