BSNL and MTNL have been wanting to acquire the 4G spectrum for quite some time, but unfortunately finance ministry is likely to delay the Department of Telecom’s (DoT) proposal of Rs 13,000 crore worth 4G spectrum to the state-run telecom operators.
Both BSNL and MTNL were expected to receive the 4G spectrum by the end of 2018, and now according to IE, sources in the ministry said that the operators would have to wait until next year for rolling out 4G services. “Writing it as expenditure at this period of time seems very difficult. The (finance) ministry is weighing other macroeconomic factors and this is expected to take more time than anticipated earlier. I do not see it in any time soon” the report quoted sources in the ministry.
To recall, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha in September said that they are trying to allocate 4G spectrum to BSNL and MTNL by “end of this year” and “it should not be 2019 but in 2018”.
Recently there was a report suggesting that Department of Expenditure was looking at the pros and cons of the DoT’s proposal, since it will additionally burden the government’s fiscal by Rs 13,000 crore. The costing has been declared ‘incipient sick’ by the Department of Public Enterprise, and these expenditures will be reportedly examined before approval.
As per proposal, MTNL plans to roll out 4G services with the help of a Rs 6,292 crore capital, while BSNL requires Rs 6,652 crore as equity infusion to fund its spectrum.