BSNL suggests rollout of a wholesale mobile network in rural regions

31 Aug 2011

State-owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has reportedly proposed the creation of a common wireless network aimed at providing services in rural regions, according to the Hindu Business Line. BSNL has suggested that, rather than multiple operators moving forward with individual infrastructure projects, a single network should be rolled out with financial support from the country’s Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The proposal coincides with the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT’s) examination of proposals for a scheme designed to support telcos in the rollout of rural infrastructure via subsidies from the USOF; under the scheme two operators will be selected to receive funding in each circle via a competitive bidding process. Commenting on the matter though, BSNL was cited as having said: ‘The cost of setting up parallel infrastructure by two operators in rural areas shall be wastage of national resources. It would be better that only one operator is allowed to roll out the network in rural areas and other operators may use the same network for providing services in these areas through the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model.’