Government of India-owned telecommunications service provider BSNL may be very late to the party, but is finally implementing 4G services and connectivity on its network. The operator recently got approval to implement the next-generation network, and did a ‘soft launch‘ of its services in Idukki district in Kerala for testing purposes. The gradual roll out will take some months, but certain districts and regions are now getting onto the 4G bandwagon.
According to a report by TelecomTalk, BSNL is sweetening the deal for its existing subscribers that are upgrading to a 4G SIM to use the new network. The operator is offering 2GB of free 4G data for all users who upgrade to the new SIM card that is capable of receiving the 4G network. While users can continue using their old SIM cards, these are limited to 3G connectivity and getting a new SIM is needed to enable high-speed data access and connectivity on the newer network.
The report further states that BSNL is upgrading its existing 3G infrastructure to 4G, while 2G connectivity will remain in place for legacy users and voice calling, at least until BSNL is able to roll out VoLTE services. This will necessitate the change of SIM card for users, which can annoy some customers. To make it worth their while, the extra 2GB of data is being offered.
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BSNL is reportedly rolling out 4G services gradually, with certain parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra in line to receive connectivity soon, or are already on 4G networks. The network upgradation will benefit the many BSNL users who are currently limited to 3G connectivity, and allow the company to once again compete against private operators such as Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular that have been offering 4G services for some time now.